LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – Alabama’s Judicial Inquiry Commission has filed a new complaint against a Limestone County judge charged with stealing county funds and money from elderly clients when he was an attorney.
Douglas Patterson has an arraignment scheduled for Feb. 11 in Limestone County Circuit Court on charges of using his office for personal gain, third-degree theft and first-degree exploitation of the elderly.
The new complaint filed Wednesday in the Alabama Court of the Judiciary charges Patterson with committing the crimes and with creating the appearance of commission of the crimes. The charges mean Patterson could be removed from office.
Patterson, who became a Limestone County District Court judge in 2016, sent a letter last month to the circuit court judge handling his case in which he admitted stealing from elderly clients and from county funds that were under his control, according to the new complaint from the commission.
In the letter attached to the commission’s complaint, Patterson writes “the public and my clients and my colleagues owe me nothing but contempt and wrath.” The commission says Patterson’s attorney delivered the letter to the judge in December.
Prosecutors say Patterson took more than $47,000 in Limestone County Juvenile Court Services money and used it for himself. He also is accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars from the conservatorship accounts of elderly clients he represented.
The commission’s complaint accuses Patterson of violating Alabama Canons of Ethics