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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. 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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