Horry County magistrate judge reprimanded

Former Horry County magistrate judge James Oren Hughes, Jr., who was suspended last August, has now been publicly reprimanded by the SC Office of Disciplinary Counsel with the state Supreme Court.

When Hughes was suspended, the counsel said only that it received a complaint about Hughes and after an investigation, it found substantial evidence to suggest Hughes would pose a threat to the public and to the administration of justice.

From there, it filed a petition with the SC Supreme Court which then temporarily suspended Hughes.

At the time, the office would not release any details about the nature of the complaint, but that information was included in the public reprimand issued Tuesday.

According to the order, while Hughes was attending an Horry County Bar reception in Myrtle Beach, he showed an inappropriate image on his cell phone to a law student in attendance and made an inappropriate comment.

The order also says Hughes admitted to the misconduct and consented to the reprimand.

He has since retired from his position.

The order also says Hughes cannot "seek nor accept any judicial position in South Carolina without the express written permission of the Court after due notice of seeking permission in writing to Disciplinary Counsel."

The court says since Hughes no longer holds judicial office, a public reprimand is the most severe sanction the Court can impose.

You can read the order in its entirety, here.