City court judge accused of theft, suspended

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A Knox County City Court judge was suspended today following the filing of five theft charges against the judge Tuesday. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed the "Notice of Criminal Charges and Request for Suspension," No. 42S00-0910-JD-441, with the Indiana Supreme Court after learning of the charges.

The Supreme Court suspended non-attorney Bicknell City Court Judge David Andrew Moreland with pay effective today pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25(V)(A). The suspension continues until further order from the high court.

The Knox County prosecutor filed the five Class D felony theft charges against Judge Moreland alleging he stole more than $21,000 since taking the bench Jan. 1, 2008. The judge is accused of knowingly exerting unauthorized control over cash payments that resolved failures to appear and restore drivers' licenses, payments for infraction tickets written by the Bicknell Police Department but not recorded with the city court, and cashed checks from the Bicknell City Court without authorization. His wife, Cindy, is also facing five felony theft charges; she is the clerk of the court.

The alleged theft was discovered in August after John Bennington of the Indiana State Board of Accounts began auditing records from Jan. 1, 2008 to mid-2009 and found discrepancies. Bennington believes the missing money can be channeled to the judge and his wife, according to the probable cause affidavit. Judge Moreland was the only one with a key to a lock box that contained the money, receipts, and citations ordered, and he was responsible for posting the receipts into the city's cash book.

According to the Indiana State Police probable cause affidavit, Judge Moreland said he never stole any money but admitted he had taken some money with the intention of paying it back. He said the money wasn't for gambling or drugs, but he used it because he was about to lose his house, and had unpaid medical and credit card bills, but he was vague about his mortgage and bills. He would take the money before he made a receipt.

In the affidavit, Judge Mooreland admitted to writing at least one of the checks for his house payments, and his wife wrote the others. Cindy was also vague about the missing money but also claimed they intended to pay it back.


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  5. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise