A Maricopa County justice of peace has been cited for allegedly shoplifting.
The Maricopa County Justice Courts said it learned late Thursday morning that Judge Markel Chiles was cited by the Mesa Police Department and released Wednesday.
The Mesa Police Department said the reported shoplifting happened at a Walmart on Greenfield Road on March 28. Mesa police said surveillance video reportedly shows Chiles putting a speaker for an iPod in his jacket after removing the speaker from the packaging. It was valued at about $40.
With the recommendation of presiding Judge C. Steven McMurry, Chiles took a leave of absence until the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct can give direction.
Chiles serves in East Mesa Justice Court. Pro Tem judges will assume his bench in his absence.
According to Maricopa County Justice Courts' website, Chiles was first elected in 2006.
"Markel K. Chiles has served as Justice of the Peace for the East Mesa Justice Court since his election in November of 2006. Judge Chiles was re-elected for a second term in November of 2010."
"Judge Chiles having lived in diverse locations such as Tripoli, Libya and Africa has seen firsthand what life would be without a strong Constitution and Justice System that upholds the rights guaranteed its citizens therein; he is dedicated to that effort."
"Born in Mesa Arizona and having graduated from Mesa High School he brings to the bench the same jurisprudence as all the other non-attorney Justices of the Peace that he preceded as there has never been an attorney elected to the East Mesa Justice Court Bench. Judge Chiles also attended Mesa Community College, Arizona Central College where he studied nursing and is a graduate of the Arizona Judicial College."
In Arizona, a justice of peace is not required to be a lawyer. They are required to take specific training and are elected to the position.
Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on this developing story.
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