A powerful circuit court judge in South Carolina was stripped of his leadership post and banished from his home county after he was busted having an affair. But that’s just the beginning of the saga surrounding South Carolina circuit court judge Knox McMahon – which we’re told is “the worst kept secret in the Palmetto State’s judicial branch of government.”

According to our sources McMahon – who was elected to his post by the S.C. General Assembly in 2006 – was caught having an affair with his law clerk, which is a major ethical “no-no.”

Ready for the first kicker? The judge is pushing seventy years old while the girl he was allegedly sleeping with – Jenny K. Rogers of West Columbia, S.C. – is in her mid-twenties.

“If a judge wants to have an affair with his middle aged court reporter that’s one thing,” a source familiar with McMahon’s alleged affair tells FITS. “But you can’t bang the twenty-something law clerk.”

It gets better, though …

The second kicker? McMahon didn’t just have an affair with Rogers, according to our sources, he got her pregnant – which is when S.C. Supreme Court chief justice Jean Toal reportedly decided to intervene in the case.

First, Toal stripped McMahon of his role as chief administrative judge for South Carolina’s eleventh judicial circuit – which oversees Edgefield, Lexington, McCormick and Saluda counties.  Next she replaced him with at-large circuit court judge Thomas A. Russo. Finally she banished McMahon to Florence, S.C.

“He’s lucky,” said one circuit court judge who spoke with FITS on condition of anonymity. “He shoulda gotten much worse.”

He may yet still …

McMahon’s wife, Nita, has reportedly left him and attorneys tell FITS divorce proceedings are imminent.

A legislative panel initially found McMahon unqualified to serve on the bench, however his supporters raised hell and the panel – the notoriously corrupt S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission – reversed its prior ruling.

Bet they’re wishing they had that vote back …

McMahon supporters initially denied the reports and sought to blame the affair on an attorney in Lexington, S.C. As FITS dug deeper into the matter, though, they relented.

Anyway, stay tuned for more information as FITS continues to follow this breaking scandal …