Oklahoma City OK Jan 24 2011 County District Judge Tammy L. Bass-LeSure and her husband, Karlos Antonio LeSure Sr., have turned themselves in to authorities Monday morning.
On Friday, prosecutors filed more than 30 charges against the couple.
LeSure’s attorney contends that the couple is innocent. LeSure and her husband pleaded not guilty in court on Monday and bonded out of jail.
They face accusations of illegally accepting public funds, in the form of adoption payments, for raising foster children they weren’t really raising. Specifically, prosecutors said the district judge and her husband adopted 3-year-old twins in 2008 and gave them to somebody else to raise but continued to accept money from the Department of Human Services.
“Typically, foster parents receive anywhere from $354 to $498 a month just depending on the age of the child,” said DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell. “Now, the adoption subsidies — once someone adopts a child — that amount goes down a little bit. That’s typically around $300 a month.”
Bass-LeSure is accused of taking about $19,000 in foster care payments, according to a court affidavit.
Bass-LeSure was the judge in the case involving Jerome Ersland, a pharmacist accused of shooting and killing a robber. District Attorney David Prater asked Bass-LeSure in September to remove herself from the case, saying that she could not be fair in the case.
Prosecutors said Bass-LeSure used the money to go to nail salons and casinos.
Officials said Bass-LeSure can remain on the bench unless a Supreme Court justice rules that she must step down.
A preliminary hearing is set for March 31 at 9 a.m.