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Attorney: Judge has Gambling Addiction

13 September 2004

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – As reported by the Associated Press: "A Kansas City municipal judge being investigated for accepting loans from lawyers has a gambling addiction, her attorney has confirmed.

"Judge Deborah Neal, 54, has been on paid leave since Aug. 16; she remains hospitalized for treatment of depression.

"She was among the patrons in a Kansas City, Kan., casino that was raided by authorities at 6:30 a.m. one day in April.

"Neal's lawyer, John Kurtz, will not say how long the gambling problem has existed, though Neal filed for bankruptcy four years ago. He also declined to say how many lawyers loaned the judge money and whether any of them practiced in her courtroom.

"…Neal, who makes $123,744 a year, filed for bankruptcy four years ago with debts that included $48,000 in federal income taxes. For the last two years, according to court records, about $1,730 has been deducted from her paycheck every two weeks as part of debt payments tied to the bankruptcy…"

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