January 21, 2009
Judge Suspended For Three Days
An Indiana Superior Court Judge was suspended without pay for three business days by order of the Indiana Supreme Court. The judge's son had died accidently and his drug use was a contributing factor. The judge attended the sentencing on weapons charges before another judge of a defendant "whom [he] believed played a tangential or indirect role in his son's drug use..." and stated to prosecutors "[l]aw abiding citizen, my ass!...[the defendant] was a 'drug dealer.' " He also asked people in the front row if they were related to "that piece of shit?"
The court found that mitigating factors warranted the sanction. He had only intended to observe the sentencing hearing and has taken measures to address his grief. One aggravating factor was a prior public admonition for taking action in his son's misdemeanor case. (Mike Frisch)
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The court did not actually make any findings in this case. The court simply implemented an agreement between the respondent and commission without comment. Indeed, the opinion does not even disclose the reasoning of the parties in reaching their conclusions. So this case provides very little in the way of guidance. But query if it would have made a difference had the judge not been wearing his robes when he attended the hearing and made his comments?
Posted by: FixedWing | Jan 21, 2009 8:59:04 AM