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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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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