CLEVELAND -- Tuesday morning, Cleveland Municipal Judge Pinkey Carr recused herself from presiding over the drunken-driving case of Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed.
She cites Reed's endorsement of her 2011 campaign as a conflict of interest.
"The issue is not whether or not I can be fair and impartial, because as it relates to anyone, I can be fair and impartial, but to avoid the appearance of impropriety in that the Councilman did endorse me, I am going to recuse myself now from this case," Carr said.
A new judge is yet to be assigned and Carr said it likely will be a visiting judge because many other municipal judges would run into the same conflict as her.
Because Cleveland City Council sets the budget for the Cleveland Municipal Court that there is an inherent conflict in any muni court judge hearing a case involving a member of council.
Reed, 51, has pleaded not guilty.
He was stopped by police at 1:44 a.m. March 5 near East Ninth Street and Rockwell Avenue for failing to stop at a malfunctioning traffic light and making an improper turn, according to the citation.
It was the third time in less than eight years that Reed has been arrested on drunken-driving charges.