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Breaking News: Judge, commissioner face charges

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Breaking News: April 4, 2008

A Marion County judge and his part-time commissioner face nearly a dozen judicial misconduct charges each for delays and dereliction of duty that resulted in an Indianapolis man staying in prison for almost two years after DNA testing cleared him of a 1984 rape. The Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission late Wednesday afternoon filed charges against Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins and Commissioner Nancy L. Broyles, relating to their involvement in a post-conviction case for Harold D. Buntin. Judge Hawkins faces 11 counts and Commissioner Broyles 10 counts. The charges allege 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 the delays in at least one case. Both have been assigned to Marion Superior Criminal Division 5 since January 2001, which is when Judge Hawkins assigned Commissioner Broyles to handle post-conviction matters for his court. The concurrent filings from the commission deal mostly with Buntin's case, but the investigation reveals that Commissioner Broyles may have at least seven other post-conviction proceedings that were delayed 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. Each has 20 days to respond to the charges. This story will be updated.
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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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