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Judge sues prosecutor for intimidation, retribution

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A Delaware County judge is claiming that county prosecutor Mark McKinney and a former deputy prosecutor threatened and intimidated the judge and his wife based on the judge’s ruling on how McKinney handled civil drug forfeitures.

Delaware Circuit 2 Judge Richard Dailey and his wife, Nancy, filed the lawsuit Aug. 18 in Delaware Circuit Court 1 against McKinney, former chief administrative deputy prosecutor Ronald Henderson, the state, and Delaware County. The judge and his wife allege that McKinney, Henderson and others in the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office entered into “a conspiracy to intimidate, extract retribution, and discredit” Judge Dailey because of the judge’s finding in August 2008 that the way McKinney handled civil drug forfeitures amounted to fraud on the court.

Judge Dailey found that the city accounts in which the proceeds from the civil drug forfeitures were deposited weren’t general fund accounts as required by law, but were accessible by members of the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force, an entity McKinney also represented as its attorney. At the time of these forfeitures, McKinney was a deputy prosecutor before being elected prosecutor in January 2007. The judge also ruled that the “Confidential Settlement Agreements” weren’t approved by courts, law enforcement costs weren’t detailed and forfeited assets weren’t apportioned to fiscal bodies, and McKinney handled civil drug forfeitures as private counsel for which he was paid after being elected prosecutor, all in violation of Indiana law.

The plaintiffs claim in August 2008, after Judge Dailey’s ruling, Henderson publicly objected to Nancy’s employment as development officer for the Youth Opportunity Center in the county, threatened to object to every proposed juvenile placement at the facility while she worked there, and drove slowly past her parking spot at the center. Nancy eventually resigned.

The suit also alleges that McKinney made comments to local newspapers in order to discredit, intimidate, or extract retribution against the judge, as well as that the defendants manufactured a criminal case against Judge Dailey.

They claim the defendants’ actions violated the Daileys’ Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th amendment rights, that their reputations continue to be severely damaged, and they suffer from emotional distress. They seek a judgment to compensate them, punitive damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and other relief.

According to the suit, Judge Dailey informed the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission in late August 2008 about the alleged policy in the prosecutor’s office to discredit him based on his ruling on the civil forfeitures issue. McKinney currently faces disciplinary charges in connection to his role as a private attorney on the civil forfeiture matters. According to the docket in his disciplinary case, the Disciplinary Commission's tender of the hearing officer’s findings of fact and conclusions of law, brief in support of the proposed findings, and McKinney’s proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations to the court were entered Friday. Boone Circuit Judge Steven David, a finalist for the upcoming Indiana Supreme Court vacancy, is the appointed hearing officer.
 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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