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Delaware County's first public defender dies

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A former Delaware County Circuit judge and the first public defender in that county died Monday.

Judge James Joseph Jordan, 77, served as a public defender, prosecutor, and judge during his legal career. He was Delaware County's first public defender from 1960 to 1961. He worked as a deputy prosecutor before leaving for private practice, and returned to the prosecutor's office when he was elected Delaware County Prosecutor in 1974. He served as prosecutor until 1979, when he opened his own private law practice.

Judge Jordan served as a master commissioner under Delaware Circuit Judge Richard Dailey for 19 years. In 1998, then-Gov. Frank O'Bannon named him to complete the term of a Circuit judge who had died. Judge Jordan was on the bench of Circuit Court 4 through December 2002. He then worked as a senior judge until his death.

The judge was a member of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Indiana State Bar Association and Muncie Bar Association.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth M. Jordan; children, Eleanor M. Jordan, Naperville, Ill.; Eric R. (Marian) Jordan, South Elgin, Ill.; Mark W. (Brenda) Jordan, Westfield, Ind.; Margaret R. (John) Ridenour, South Bend; John M. (Carrie) Jordan, Indianapolis; Joseph P. (Don Diforio) Jordan, Stamford, Conn.; Martha K. (Lee) Jarvis, St. Cloud, Fla.; Perry T. (Jeannie) Jordan, Albion. He is also survived by his sister, JoAnn Phillips, nine grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A calling will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and one hour before services at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington St. Chapel, 415 E. Washington St., Muncie. Burial will follow in Elm Ridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Salvation Army, Muncie Mission, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

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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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