A Newberry County magistrate has received a month-and-a-half suspension after he got into a fight at a cotillion club last year.
The South Carolina Supreme Court order gives few details of the fight in February 2016 other than to say Magistrate Gordon Johnson, Sr., got into a “physical altercation” after an argument with another attendee at the Newberry Cotillion Club. The order also notes both men received minor injuries.
However, a police report goes into much more detail and said witnesses reported Johnson started the fight by head-butting the other man before hitting him with his fist and gouging his eyes. The State newspaper first reported those details.
The police report said the other man grabbed Johnson by his crotch in an attempt to get the judge off him. Other bystanders tried to break up the fight to no avail, according to the report. Police did not file any charges in the incident. The other man was not named in the police report.
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday Johnson’s conduct violated his oath of office and suspended him 45 days. The magistrate agreed to the punishment, according to the order.
Magistrates are county-level judges who handle relatively small crimes and disputes and also issue search warrants.