Alabama judge arrested on ethics, theft charges

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 12, 2019

A north Alabama judge was arrested Thursday on ethics and theft charges, the Alabama attorney general’s office announced.

Limestone County District Judge Douglas Lee Patterson faces three felony charges, including using his officer for personal gain.

The attorney general’s office said he misused $47,000 intended for juvenile court programs by using it for personal expenses.

He is also charged with financial exploitation of the elderly. He is accused of acting improperly during his time as conservator for a nursing home resident who is now deceased.

The attorney general’s office said Patterson withdrew about $47,800 of the money in the conservator account for personal use.

The theft charge accuses Patterson of using theft by deception to take control of a sum of money, between $499 and $1,500, from an estate of another man for whom he had served as conservator.

Court records did not immediately show if Patterson has an attorney representing him.