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Rowan Magistrate Jeff Forbes suspended following DWI arrest

Rowan Magistrate Jeff Forbes has been suspended following a Dec. 11 arrest for driving while impaired in Stanly County, court records say.

Forbes, 52, was was initially stopped by the Oakboro police and then a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper. The trooper noted Forbes had glassy eyes and was unsteady on his feet. He did not pass a field sobriety test. The trooper said the stop occurred at 5:30 p.m. and Forbes had a strong odor of alcohol about him.

An incident report said Forbes’ blood alcohol content was .20, more than double the .08 legal limit. A motorist called 911 to say they’d followed Forbes’ vehicle for six or seven miles and he appeared to be intoxicated.

He was charged with driving while impaired, reckless driving and his license was automatically revoked for 30 days.

A court order filed Dec. 15 and requested by the Post shows Forbes was suspended Dec. 12. The order was signed by Chief District Court Judge Charlie Brown.

The order said Forbes is suspended from performing duties as a magistrate until there’s a final determination of the driving while impaired charges.

He was suspended, the order said, based on the grounds that he violated the code of judicial conduct “by failing to respect and comply with the law and by conducting himself in a manner that does not promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

Forbes began as a magistrate in Buncombe County in 1987 where he worked for 18 months before moving onto Catawba County where he worked for a year.

In 1990, Forbes began working as a magistrate in Mecklenburg and worked there until July of this year. He began as a magistrate in Rowan County July 8.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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