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WAXAHACHIE - A special prosecutor is investigating whether Ellis County Judge Carol Bush committed a crime for requesting money from the state for work she did not do.

As county judge, Carol Bush runs commissioners court, but telling the state she would also hear actual court cases has landed her at the center of a criminal investigation.

'I want her removed from office,' said Dave Vance, a government watchdog who discovered the issue. 'Whatever a judge or jury decides, that's up to the judicial system, but I think she has no business in politics taking care of taxpayer money.'

Texas pays county judges the highest elected official in each county an extra $15,000 a year if they devote 40 percent of their job to judicial cases.

Bush requested that extra pay twice, but never heard any cases.

In 2012, Carol Bush filed an affidavit with the state to get that salary supplement.

Last year, she filed another affidavit and requested the money again for cases she'd hear in 2014. But in February, Bush revoked it.

'My intention had been to assume an active case load; however due to administrative scheduling conflicts and personal family matters, I am unable to maintain a judicial docket,' she said in a letter to the state comptroller.

'It's huge. It's fraud. It's our taxpayer money,' Vance said. 'People in Ellis County shouldn't be the only ones caring. This is state money.'

The state comptroller told News 8 that Carol Bush and Ellis County repaid the state $22,531.10 -- $15,000 for 2013 and $7,531.10 as part of her payments for 2014.

What's uncertain is why the judge would request the supplement again this year if she didn't hear any cases in 2013. She has not returned calls for comment.

Even though Bush gave the money back, Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper has been assigned as a special prosecutor in this case to determine whether Judge Bush committed a crime.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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