Judge 'Charged' With 'Theft' For Plugging In Chevy Volt Electric Car

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2013 Chevrolet Volt, Catskill Mountains, Oct 2012

2013 Chevrolet Volt, Catskill Mountains, Oct 2012

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For centuries, the role of Judge has carried with it a solemn duty to uphold justice, the law, and to ascertain which facts are true, and which are not. 

So when a journalist in Carmi, Illinois spotted a Second Circuit Judge charging his electric car at Wayne County Courthouse, they ran a story  claiming Second Circuit Associate Judge Mark Stanley was misappropriating public funds to charge his car. 

Except he wasn’t. 

As the CourierPress reports, the local news article caused enough outcry to force Judge Stanley to appear in front of the entire Wayne County Board last week to explain his actions. 

The charges? That he was using public funds to charge his $39,995 Volt, while residents of Wayne County were struggling with $4-a-gallon gas. 

Sadly for the newspaper, and thankfully for the County Board, the explanation given by Judge Stanley was far from salacious. 

Upon buying his plug-in hybrid, Judge Stanley had approached the local Sheriff to ask for approval to install an outlet to charge his car at the courthouse. 

2012 Chevrolet Volt Charges

2012 Chevrolet Volt Charges

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Approval was granted, and Judge Stanley then made arrangements with the County Treasurer to pay for the power he used to charge his Volt, ensuring no public funds went to refueling his car. 

At 87 cents for a full charge, once a week, the agreement was made that Judge Stanley would make two payments per year to recompense the Wayne County Courthouse for the power he used. 

To ensure he wasn’t accused of stealing, Judge Stanley even offered to pay double, something he replicated at every other courthouse he visits in the Second Circuit. 

Once everything had been explained--and proven--Wayne County Board members were more than a little embarrassed. 

“Uh, I didn’t know you had an arrangement with the sheriff,” said County Board Chairman Gary Sloan. “Oops.”

Judges, it seems, while upholders of justice, can suffer exactly the same conflicts when trying to find somewhere to charge their electric car.


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Comments (36)
  1. "So when a journalist in Carmi, Illinois spotted a Second Circuit Judge charging his electric car at Wayne County Courthouse, they ran a story claiming Second Circuit Associate Judge Mark Stanley was misappropriating public funds to charge his car. "

    So, in today's world, who is holding the so called "journalist" responsibile for "making up stories" without doing full research?

    How low can "journalist" go these days while they are being protected under the "freedom of information and speech" these days?

    I am so glad that GCR journalists are at much higher standard...

  2. Li: Wow was it FOX , LI? You missed your chance for a cheap shot at FOX! They also work hard to protect all the president's lies, which does not leave them time for true journalism.

  3. Well, false reporting happens across the board on both sides.

    Now, What is your stupid problem here? Don't you have something better to comment instead of political junk? Either try to stick to topic or go and finish your GED....

  4. I wonder if the judge is going to sue for defamation or slander?

    Now, how much public money was wasted in making the judge front the board to explain the judge's legitimate actions?

  5. Whatever happen to investigative reporting, you know, like asking questions? The carnal rule when witnessing an event is things are not always as they appear.

  6. I think you meant 'cardinal' rule. At least I HOPE you meant cardinal rule.

  7. Once again a "journalist" suffers no repercussions and is not even named herin for bearing false witness and failing to establish facts. It's happening in every sphere. Dependable journalism is almost extinct and the reputation of the profession in ruins. Decent journalists are few and far between it seems.

  8. Seems like it should be Public Policy to encourage plug in cars and the courthouse should have chargers available free to the public. It used to be many a public building had water troughs for the horses people rode to court,
    now we may want to have free public chargers, at major public buildings for visitors. To keep costs in control, simply have a parking meter.

  9. Umm....someone is a big fat idiot. And it isn't the judge.

  10. Maybe they *ass*u*med* that charging a plugin was expensive, just like gas? Hopefully a few people had their eyes opened to how good plugins are...


  11. Oh how right you are Neil. I have found that the higher up in management and education the less people know about how much it costs to charge up a plug-in car. I have had Vice Presidents and directors with PhD's from Harvard and Yale tell me that they thought it cost $100 to charge up an electric car. Sigh...

  12. I bet that they aren't "engineering" majors...

  13. Just like public opinion. Guilty until proven innocent. Judge had the forethought to properly handle things. I wish more of us could get plugs installed at workplaces and be able to pay for it ourselves. We can't let typical media journalists "paint" our lives as they do. It's too bad they can claim he was misappropriating funds before even asking the guy.

  14. By the same logic, any judge that is plugging in their personal phone to charge at work is stealing?

  15. Yes, and the "journalist" too

  16. I'd rather see Gassers idling in the parking lot charged with disorderly conduct.

  17. Nicki,

    You really need to understand that the phrase "Charged with theft" has a legal meaning. Charging refers to either a grand jury issuing an indictment or where the police and prosecutor have decided to bring someone to trial.

    Your post is both legally and factually incorrect and seems designed to confuse.

    "Judge accused" might be more accurate but less sensational.

  18. really are you that daft to not get the joke?

  19. If the idiot journalist did his job, then there would not have been that atrocious pun would not have been needed. So screw the "journalist" for causing your inane statement.

  20. Wow. I mean, to the judge's credit, well done on being really thorough! I don't know if I would have thought of all those steps.

  21. If it sounds almost like...to good to be true...It's probably not

  22. I think the judge now has an actionable complaint against you, Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, and Green Car Reports, plus the various media outlets that have retransmitted your story (namely the CBS O&O local websites across the nation).

    Why? Because of your inaccurate, libelous headline:

    "Judge Charged With Theft For Plugging In Chevy Volt Electric Car"

    Nothing could be further from the truth here, as no such charge was ever filed in any court of law regarding the alleged incident.

    I hope you have a very good lawyer, and adequate errors & omissions insurance, as I suspect you'll be needing it soon.

    Good luck, Nikki.

  23. Anonymous; Good job, this website tends to sensationalise "Green" issues, but it does have some good information, you just have to filter it with common sense.

  24. Charged does not exclusively refer only to judicial charges. Newspaper headlines are filled with examples of students being charged with being insubordinate, athletes charged with cheap shots, etc... None of these have any connection whatsoever with a judicial charge or hearing, so your conclusion is far from the truth.

    Yes, a headline that uses language used publicly by many other publications... Yeah, that's not actionable... Libel in the U.S. would have to show an intent to harm or an obvious falsehood, not just indirect harm. As such, your conclusion is ridiculous.

    Get back to me when this "case" is filed, which means never, of course. Broadcasting a story that one believes to be true also doesn't amoung to libel.

  25. Years ago I worked with a bloke who was so tight-fisted that he'd cycle to work. OK lots of people do that but in his case he'd pack his rechargeable electric shaver and recharge it with his employers electricity!

    I remember an even meaner bloke in the motorcycle club. He never rode his bike as it was too thirsty. Instead he rode a Honda 50 which he ran so lean that it burnt a hole through the piston. One day there were children playing with a "Superball" - one of those very bouncy balls. The ball bounced into his garden so he kept it and he told the children that he hadn't seen it. Next he removed the cylinder head of the Honda and put the ball into the bore. The Honda was then advertised as spares-or-repair. Lots of compression!

  26. was that a 20 amp circuit Judge or a 30 amp circuit Judge?

  27. Let's do the math.

    87 cents per week times 52 weeks equals $45.24 per year Making two payments per year.

    So what we have is a situation where the costs of the paperwork collecting the money exceeds that of the money paid in. Even if the judge doubled up on the costs, it's still a losing proposition.

  28. wrong.

    the cost of installation was covered by the judge, and the cost of processing his payment is negligible as all it takes is someone to hit a button and process a check.

  29. why is the title of the article "Judge 'Charged' With 'Theft' For Plugging In Chevy Volt Electric Car" and not "Judge Pays to have a plug installed so he can charge his car"?

    the reporter should be fired.

  30. The title is simply a play on words having to do with electricity. They were trying to be clever, not defame the judge. Let's use our brains and think these things through before acting just like the original reporter that started the idiotic mess.

  31. I find it extremely hard to believe he is only being charged 87 cents to charge his car. The battery on the Chevy Volt has a 16kwh capacity. My power company charges 2.27 for each kwh. 16 x 2.27 is over $35! How did he manage to work a deal to pay less than a dollar to charge his car, when the county is likely picking up the tab for probably over $30 more than that each time he charges his car!???? Something still sounds a bit too fishy here!!!

  32. So, instead of paying something like $1900-2000 a year, this judge somehow worked what looks on the surface to be a corrupt deal to pay less than $50 a year, but posed as what was supposed to look like an ethical solution to his free transportation needs.

  33. @Jim: No power company in the U.S. charges $2.27 per kWh. The highest price in the U.S. is 25 to 40 cents per kWh--and those costs are extremely rare--and the U.S. average is 12 cents per kWh.

    Source for your statement, please?

  34. Since when can a local Sheriff approve an installation of an outlet to charge a car at the courthouse

  35. so how many of us non-privileged people could set up a similar arrangement with our local sheriff? Clearly an abuse by the Judge given his position of power.
    Also wondering who came up with the 87 cents figure. Think a real journalist would have cited their source.
    Bias everywhere, including this article. Very sad

  36. Per the charge cost that's pretty simple math. The EPA estimate for the Volt is 2.7 miles per kilowatt-hour, the national average consumer electricity cost is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. His 85 cents/week would indicate that he's using around 7 kilowatt-hours/week. Seven kilowatt-hours will take a Volt about 20 miles. The second circuit covers Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties. He covers them all yet seems to travel maybe 3 miles per day.

    I also don't see who paid for the installation of the charging stations, from the article it sounds like he has one at each of 12 courthouses.

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