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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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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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