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Former Judge Harding Disbarred

Former Judge Harding Disbarred

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A former judge, who resigned last year amid prosecution for drug possession charges, has lost his license to practice law.

Ray Harding Junior was disbarred yesterday in a unanimous ruling by the Utah Supreme Court.

The court said it was not Harding's convictions on charges of misdemeanor drug possession alone that warranted the move. The ruling said his actions after he was arrested at his home in 2002 also forced the harsh punishment.

Harding continued to publicly maintain his innocence and malign his accusers until pleading guilty to reduced charges in March 2003.

Harding had been a member of the Utah Bar since 1978 and was appointed to the bench in 1995.

Under bar rules, Harding can re-apply to the bar after five years, but will have to retake the state bar exam.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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