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Agency wants one-year suspension

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission argues that a hearing officer’s recommendation of a public reprimand against Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney is inadequate and the elected official should receive a one-year suspension.

In a 12-page brief filed Oct. 29, the commission analyzed the findings and recommendations submitted to the Indiana Supreme Court in late September by hearing officer and then-Boone Circuit Judge Steven David, who’s since been elevated to the state’s highest court. The former trial judge recommended a public reprimand in this case that revolves around McKinney’s personal private practice of pursuing civil forfeiture cases while serving as a deputy prosecutor and after becoming elected prosecutor. The disciplinary action is In The Matter of Mark R. McKinney, No. 18S00-0905-DI-220.

“The misconduct at issue here is serious and of long standing,” the brief states. “The Hearing Officer’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law are clear and unequivocal; this respondent violated the law remorselessly. When viewed in the light of prior cases involving misconduct by prosecutors, the Hearing Officer’s recommendation of a public reprimand seems inappropriately low. Based on the prior cases, the Commission submits that a more appropriate resolution to this case would be to suspend the respondent indefinitely with leave to apply for reinstatement in no less than one year.”

McKinney can file a response brief to the commission’s claims and the hearing officer’s findings. Briefing should be finished by year’s end, and the justices will likely issue a disciplinary decision in 2011. McKinney completes his term as prosecutor this year after losing in the primary election, so he will no longer be in that position when the justices make a decision.

Rehearing "Discipline case poses questions on recusals, separation of powers" IL Oct. 13-26, 2010

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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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