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Judge threatens to find Indiana mayor in contempt

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A judge threatened to find a central Indiana mayor in contempt of court over a dispute about pipes blocking a courthouse entrance.

The county sheriff led Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight to the office of Howard County Superior Judge William Menges on Tuesday afternoon, but Goodnight was allowed to go free soon afterward once crews moved concrete pipes for a pedestrian trail project, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

Goodnight said the judge didn't call him or other city officials and instead chose "to engage in political theater."

"What this boils down to is you have a judge that's on an ego trip," Goodnight said.

The Associated Press left a telephone message Wednesday seeking comment from Menges at the judge's office, but a staffer said the judge wouldn't be doing interviews.

The contempt of court order issued Tuesday by Menges said the mayor had given directions for a contractor to place the pipes so they blocked a courthouse drive and prevent county crews from spreading stone to reopen the route so "potentially dangerous inmates" could be brought to court hearings this week.

Menges wrote that Goodnight's "actions were intentional and solely for the purpose of disrupting the regular proceedings of the court."

Goodnight said he received a text message from a county commissioner Tuesday morning about clearing the drive and was told that moving the pipes that afternoon wouldn't be a problem. Goodnight said he heard nothing more until Sheriff Steve Rogers arrived at his office with orders for him to appear before the judge.

Rogers said Goodnight was never placed in handcuffs or booked into jail.

"He was told he'd be held in the jail if he didn't comply," Rogers said. "He did (comply) and he was released."

Goodnight, a Democrat, said he didn't know a reason for the reaction by Menges, a former county Republican Party chairman.

"This is the judge's attempt to embarrass me," Goodnight said. "Unfortunately, he's embarrassed himself and the people of Howard County."

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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