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Graham quits cases involving lawyers

County Judge Gary Graham on Tuesday reluctantly agreed to remove himself from seven cases involving lawyers whose driving records the judge has reviewed. A circuit judge had told Graham to step down because the lawyers _ James Spindler, Cliff Travis and Patricia Vitter _ and their clients could reasonably fear that Graham would not give them a fair hearing. The records review was part of Graham's defense against misconduct charges against him filed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Graham said he objected to Circuit Judge Raymond T. McNeal's order and reminded court officers that he has appealed McNeal's decision. Considering Graham's move Tuesday, he may remove himself from a case involving a fourth lawyer, Glen Abbott, who has a small-claims lawsuit pending and also had asked Graham to step down.

Judge lenient with accused food thief

INVERNESS _ A man accused of trying to steal food to help support his family received a judicial warning Tuesday in Citrus County Court. Mark William Boyce, 30, of Floral City once was a successful insurance agent who was well able to support his wife and three children. But he said recent money problems forced him to steal $92.59 worth of food from the Publix store at Inverness Regional Shopping Center. County Judge Gary Graham gave the man a judicial warning and told him to avoid future trouble with the law.

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