Supended court staff charges with fraud.
Three senior court employees were last night charged over allegations of fraud at Sunderland Magistrates' Court.
The trio, chief clerk Stephen Peter Rowbottom, principal administration manager Pamela Davison, and former deputy clerk Edmund Cleary, were suspended from their posts in March.
And following the five-month alleged fraud probe by the Department For Constitutional Affairs ( the Government body which manages the country's magistrates ( the trio were last night charged to appear in court.
Rowbottom, 49, of Morpeth, and Cleary, 58, of Washington, have been accused with misconduct in public office.
Crown Prosecution Service guidelines for magistrates say this charge refers to public officers who willfully neglect to perform their duty or willfully misconduct themselves, amounting to an abuse of the public's trust.
Davison, 54, of Murton, County Durham, has been charged with two counts of misconduct in public office, one of false accounting and three of "pushing false information".
None of the three was available for comment last night.