Judge’s license to practice was expired during former Limestone Co. Sheriff trial

Judge’s license to practice was expired during former Limestone Co. Sheriff trial
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - The future of Alabama’s longest-serving sheriff remains up in the air as he awaits a decision from the court of criminal appeals.

Former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was sentenced to 36 months last year for stealing campaign donations and taking personal loans from the Sheriff’s Office.

Now new information about the judge who presided over Blakely’s trial is leading to questions about her legitimacy to oversee the trial.

According to Blakely’s lawyers, a legal expert doing research found that Judge Pamela Baschab’s license to practice law was expired when she heard the case.

A representative of the Alabama Bar Association confirmed that Judge Baschab’s license did expire in January 2021, several months before Blakely’s trial. They added the law was changed in October of 2021 requiring all judges to be current members of the bar.

We asked Blakely’s lawyer Robert Tuten if his team will pursue this in court.

“We have been researching this over the last few days and intend to take appropriate action at the appropriate time depending on what our client wants to do,” Tuten said. “We are convinced right now with a pending appeal we’re not able to file anything at the moment. I expect we’ll wait until the appeal runs their course and then evaluate the situation and see where we are.”

According to the Bar Association, Baschab did receive a letter in January 2021 telling her that as a sitting judge she is not required to be a member of the bar.

Now the Bar Association is looking into why that letter was sent.

A representative added that the bar believes “Judge Baschab was acting in good faith”.

As of August 25, Judge Baschab renewed her membership with the bar.