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City court judge faces disciplinary charges

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A city court judge accused in October of theft of court funds is now facing disciplinary charges. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed charges against non-attorney Bicknell City Court Judge David Andrew Moreland.

The misconduct charges stem from five counts of theft filed against the judge and his wife, Cindy, alleging they stole more than $21,000 since he took the bench Jan. 1, 2008.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission has charged Judge Moreland with five counts of misconduct. Count I stems from the allegation the judge misappropriated funds for personal use in 2008, violating Canons 1 and 2A of the 2008 Code of Judicial Conduct; Count II comes from Judge Moreland directing or permitting his wife to misappropriate court funds for personal use in 2008, violating Canons 1 and 2A; Count III centers on the judge misappropriating court funds for personal use in 2009 in violation of Rule 1.1 of the 2009 Code of Judicial Conduct; Count IV centers on the judge allowing his wife to misappropriate court funds in 2009 in violation of Rules 1.1 and 1.2; and Count V involves Judge Moreland employing his wife as city court clerk, which violates Cannon 3(C)(4) of the 2008 code and 2.13(A)(2) of the 2009 code. All of the counts also allege Judge Moreland committed willful misconduct in office and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

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.

The alleged theft was discovered in August after John Bennington of the Indiana State Board of Accounts audited records from Jan. 1, 2008 to mid-2009 and found discrepancies. Bennington believes the missing money can be tied 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. Judge Moreland was suspended with pay Oct. 14 after the theft charges were filed by the Knox County Prosecutor's Office.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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