CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A former North Carolina district judge is challenging his removal from the bench after allegations of misconduct.

The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday that former Mecklenburg District Judge Bill Belk filed a brief with the state Supreme Court challenging the Judicial Standards Commission's recommendation that he be removed.

Belk's attorney, Kevin Byrnes, says Belk is suffering from cancer and is desperate not to be forced from the bench because it would leave him without health insurance.

Belk resigned as a judge in November. The commission accused him of misconduct in April for serving on the board of directors of Sonic Automotive, one of the nation's largest auto retailers, and for a confrontation with the chief district judge.

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