UPDATE: Alberta provincial court judge pleads guilty to impaired driving

Watch above: An Alberta provincial court judge has been charged with impaired driving. Paul Sully, 75, retired in April but was appointed as a part-time judge to a term that expires in 2016. Nancy Carlson has more.

EDMONTON – Judge Paul Gordon Sully of the Alberta provincial court entered a guilty plea to driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 Monday morning.

Sully, 75, received a $1,500 fine, a $450 Victims Fine Surcharge and a 1-year driving prohibition.

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Alberta Justice confirms he tendered his resignation effective June 17.

Sully was arrested and charged with an impaired driving offence June 12.

Edmonton police say they pulled a driver over that Thursday night during a routine checkstop.

Sully was charged of impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

“Judge Sully will not be presiding as a judge of the provincial court pending the outcome of these outstanding charges,” Terrence Matchett, chief judge of the provincial court said June 13 in an email.

Greg Lepp, head of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service spoke briefly about the incident at that time, but would not address the specific charges laid.

“Judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers, they’re all human,” he said.

“They all do things that other people do, but it is a matter of concern when a judge is charged with an offence.

“It’s very important for the public to keep in mind that he’s innocent until proven guilty. That’s part of our system.”

Sully is a long-time judge who has presided over several high-profile cases, including last year’s fatality inquiry into the 2005 death of Jean Warden at the Devonshire Care Centre.

READ MORE: Inquiry begins for senior who died from malnutrition 

Sully completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba, where he also received his law degree.

He was a lawyer at the Edmonton law firm Brownlee LLP until his appointment in 1998.

He was appointed a supernumerary, or part-time, judge in April 2014. That term was set to expire on April 25, 2016.

Lepp explained that a judge being prosecuted is not unprecedented, and that there is a procedure to make sure the prosecution is impartial.

“We have had experience, both in Alberta and elsewhere, of judges either being under investigation or charged with criminal offences,” he said.

“Ordinarily it’s handled in the fashion that we’re handling it now. We arrange for, on the prosecution side, a prosecutor who is not connected with that particular judge or that particular court.”

In this instance, a prosecutor from the Saskatchewan Crown will handle the case.

With files from The Canadian Press

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