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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The state's Judicial Standards Commission is recommending that Mecklenburg County Judge Bill Belk be removed from the bench.

Belk said the commission gave its recommendation Wednesday after several days of hearings were conducted last month.

Belk is accused of having a conflict because he serves on the board of Sonic Automotive. He's also accused of making disparaging remarks about Chief Judge Lisa Bell.

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"It was to be expected," Belk said, speaking exclusively to NewsChannel 36 on Wednesday. "I knew that this was coming down, actually, when I got elected because the rumor mill was talking about it -- that they were going to try to figure out how to get me off the bench. The issues that have come forth at this time -- if it hadn't been those issues it would have been something else."

Belk believes the charges against him -- willful misconduct -- are payback for his attempt to reform the courts.

The state Supreme Court has the ultimate say. There's no word on when the court may make its decision.

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