Published: Mar 19, 2014 1:10 PM EDT

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida judge accused of approving false time sheets says the criminal charges brought against her should be dropped.
    
Circuit Judge Beth Harlan was arrested last year following an investigation by the State Attorney's Office. They say the 55-year-old judge approved time sheets so former judicial assistant Alisha Rupp would get paid for time she didn't work.
    
Harlan's trial is set for May. Rupp is accused of grand theft and her trial is scheduled to being in April.
    
The Ledger of Lakeland (http://bit.ly/1qUhgUW ) says Harlan agreed to a "voluntary suspension" from judicial duties while the case is pending.
    
Harlan's attorney filed a motion Friday seeking dismissal of the charges. No hearing has been set.
    
The motion argues that judicial assistants are "personal staff" accountable only to the judges who oversee them.
    
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Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), http://www.theledger.com

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