Pennsylvanian charged with cancelling own parking tickets

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It’s already a helluva year for Kelly S. Ballentine, a judge from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (Words such as ‘helluva’ are permissible when writing about our American cousins.) Ms. Ballentine has been put on paid leave pending criminal charges into the disappearance of – ahem – her own traffic citations.

In what (if proven) will be one of the biggest financial own goals in the history of all legal activity anywhere, Ballentine, 43, received fines totalling $268.50 for two parking violations and an elapsed registration on her BMW.

When she was sent summonses for not paying the fines, she allegedly accessed the court’s computer system and wiped out the charges with all the ready aplomb of that Juan Sheet from the kitchen roll commercials.

Ballentine even applied her own John Hancock to the documentation that cancelled the tickets. “It was Kelly Ballentine’s handwriting dismissing them,” confirmed the Lancaster attorney general’s office, as reported in Lancaster Online.

So on the one hand, Ballentine sidestepped fines of less than three hundred bucks. But on the other, guilty verdicts will see her facing two charges punishable by seven years imprisonment and $15,000 each, and three charges punishable by two years and $5,000 each.

Assuming twenty years lost earnings, based on consecutive sentences and a presumed dismissal from the bench, this could cost Ballentine a total of $2m. Don’t they have that phrase about spoiling ships for a ha’porth of tar on the other side of the pond? AB

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