BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C.–A South Carolina judge who’s been a familiar face inside Berkeley County courtrooms for almost the last decade won’t seek re-election after state lawmakers recently questioned her temperament on the bench.
Media outlets reported that a legislative panel recently grilled Judge Kristi Lea Harrington of Hanahan about dozens of attorneys who anonymously accused her of being condescending, demeaning and rude inside the courtroom.
According to The Post and Courier, Harrington initially asked the panel to give her a “chance to make it right,” saying she couldn’t address unattributed gripes specifically.
“Don’t throw away a judicial career based on anonymous complaints,” she said.
Despite those complaints, Harrington still faced the possibility of being disqualified from her job after the panel questioned her about contacting lawmakers since the last hearing. Doing so would be a potential violation of rules that ban contact until the screening panel’s work is done.
“I have in no way asked for a pledge or support from anyone,” she said. “Based on caution and everything transpiring today, I think it’s in everyone’s best interest for me to withdraw.”
Harrington was 38 years old when she became a judge in February 2008. She filled the unexpired term of Judge Daniel F. Pieper who was elevated to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Her term in office ends June 30, 2018.