Thursday, June 17, 2021

Probation Violations Lead To Suspension

The Indiana Supreme Court ordered an 180 day suspension without automatic reinstatement of a former magistrate judge

On December 4, 2020, in Case No. 19S-JD-165, this Court entered an order approving a conditional agreement permanently banning Respondent from judicial service and suspending him from the practice of law for one year, with 90 days actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completing at least two years’ probation with monitoring by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. The agreement provides that if probation is revoked, the stay of his suspension is subject to being vacated and may be ordered actively served with or without automatic reinstatement.

On April 5, 2021, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications (JQC) filed a verified motion to revoke probation, asserting multiple violations of the terms of Respondent’s probation. Those allegations were deemed admitted when Respondent failed to timely respond, and he admitted them expressly in a later pleading. On April 23, we ordered Respondent suspended on an interim basis and invited the parties to file briefs addressing sanction, which they have done.

The December 2020 order is linked here.

The Indiana Lawyer reported in April

Greenaway pleaded guilty in September to misdemeanor charges of possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice, both of which had been charged as Level 6 felonies when Greenaway was arrested in March 2019.

The Supreme Court immediately suspended Greenaway after his arrest and the county’s judges immediately suspended him.

According to a probable cause affidavit, after Greenaway bought about $140 worth of meth from a confidential informant in November 2018, Indiana State Police and Noblesville police moved on his vehicle after the arranged buy at a Goodwill parking lot in Noblesville.

A plain-clothes detective watching nearby exited his car and began to walk toward Greenaway, and uniformed officers in unmarked cars pulled in behind Greenaway’s vehicle after the handoff. As a state police officer identified himself and yelled for Greenaway to put his hands up, he “witnessed Greenaway place a plastic baggie that (an ISP detective) recognized and knew was methamphetamine in his mouth,” the affidavit says.

The detective “pushed his right thumb into Greenaway’s mouth trying to pry it open. This technique worked for a short time, until Greenaway used his teeth to bite down hard” onto the detective’s thumb, forcing him to remove it “to prevent further injury to his thumb. Suddenly, Greenaway opened his mouth and began to comply,” having swallowed the baggie.

After he was transported to Riverview Hospital, the affidavit says Greenaway told an ISP sergeant, “I have been set up.” Asked why he swallowed the package, the affidavit says Greenaway told investigators, “I panicked. I knew what it was and the guy said ‘State Police,’ and I said what the f— do I do and I swallowed the damn stuff so whatever it was, it’s in me now.

(Mike Frisch)

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