The long eye of the law has stared down the scales of justice in Germantown.
The suburb's automated enforcement cameras caught Municipal Court Judge Ray Clift slipping through the red light on a left turn at Germantown Road and Wolf River Boulevard.
And to show that no one is immune from the system, Clift paid the ticket soon after the city notified him of the violation. He basically surrendered to authorities that day, writing a check to cover his penalty
"I said: 'Write it up, and I'll be up there to pay it,' " Clift related. Court Clerk Janet Donnell said his receipt for the $50 fine is dated May 1, the day he was notified of the violation.
The judge was northbound on Germantown Road shortly before 8 a.m. on April 27. The camera shows his black Chevrolet SUV, complete with Judicial tags, steering left after the light turns red. The citation notes the judge crossed the stop bar, entering the intersection .36 seconds after the light changed.
"I was surprised because I didn't think I had run the light," Clift said, acknowledging that he's heard that mantra "just about every time" while sitting on the bench hearing traffic cases. The judge said once he saw the pictures on the citation, he realized he was guilty.
"I know how people feel," he said. "You're looking at the light, but that was me. ... They caught me and that's my plate."