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3 get judge, commissioner discipline case

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Disciplinary actions against a Marion County judge and his commissioner have been consolidated into one case and the Indiana Supreme Court has assigned three special judges to the proceedings.

In an order dated June 18, the court consolidated the cases against Judge Grant W. Hawkins and Master Commissioner Nancy Broyles, who've both been on Marion Superior Court's Criminal Division 5 since January 2001.

Delaware Circuit Judge Marianne L. Vorhees has been named presiding master, while Lake Superior Judge Clarence D. Murray and Elkhart Circuit Judge Terry Shewmaker will also hear and take evidence on the charges.

The Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission filed nearly a dozen charges against each on April 9, alleging delay and dereliction of duties relating to the handling of cases.

Mostly, the 11 counts against Judge Hawkins and 10 against Commissioner Broyles deal with their involvement in a post-conviction case that resulted in an Indianapolis man being held in prison for almost two years after DNA evidence cleared him of a 1984 rape.

The charges allege that Judge Hawkins did not adequately supervise his staff and commissioner, committed conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and did not uphold the integrity and public confidence of the judiciary by allowing delays.

Charges are similar against Commissioner Broyles, but reveal that her conduct may have delayed at least seven other post-conviction proceedings between sixth months and 28 months, and some were backdated once they were ultimately decided. The investigation shows that the part-time commissioner routinely issued final orders in post-conviction cases without obtaining Judge Hawkins' approval and signature, contrary to Indiana Codes 33-33-49-16 and 33-23-5-8.

Now, the two cases have been consolidated into No. 49S00-0804-JD-157. The masters are directed to submit a schedule within 30 days of the order and a report is expected during the first week of November.

Indiana Lawyer reported on the disciplinary actions in the April 16-29, 2008, edition, "Judge, commissioner both face charges."

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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