(KMOV.com) -- Municipal Court judge Charles Kirksey admits he did it. In an order issued a month ago by the state Supreme Court, Kirksey admits to "a pattern of misconduct" in his private law practice that includes repeatedly using the trust fund for his clients to pay his personal bills.
In documents obtained by News 4 Investigates, Kirksey admits making 18 personal payments from the account from September 2011-May 2012. Three years ago, the trust account had an overdraft of $1,193 for a payment for personal property taxes.
I asked Judge Kirksey if he thinks that hurts his credibility as a judge.
"Only if you make it that kind of problem," he told News 4. "I don't think it is because it had nothing to do with the courts. It's something that was particular to my practice and I straightened that out."
The judge added that he's "always tried to take care of my taxes." But unpaid taxes are an ongoing issue for Kirksey, one that has prompted the federal government to place nearly $165,000 in liens on his property during the last two decades. According to St. Louis County records, Kirksey hasn't paid off all of the $114,000 in liens still on his property. The judge says he doesn't know what he still owes the federal government for his unpaid taxes.
"I let this get out of hand, but I'm working with the authorities to take care of it and that's all I can do," he said. As a municipal judge for more than a decade in Wellston and Normandy, Kirksey has issued thousands of warrants for the arrest of people who failed to appear in court, often for traffic violations that involved small fines.
City officials in Normandy and Wellston said they weren't aware of the judge's disciplinary action for a "pattern of misconduct" as a private attorney, or his unresolved liens for unpaid federal taxes.
Kirksey is the second municipal court judge under fire recently for unpaid taxes. Former Ferguson municipal judge Ron Brockmeyer resigned from that city and Breckenridge Hills, where he was also a judge, as well as his job as prosecutor in other north St. Louis County Municipalities, after it was revealed that he owed taxes.
The revelation about Brockmeyer's taxes came after he was accused by the Department of Justice of helping boost city revenue through the Ferguson municipal court.