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Justices reprimand 2 former deputy prosecutors

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Two former Marion County deputy prosecutors have received public reprimands from the state’s highest court for drunken driving incidents.

The Indiana Supreme Court issued orders May 20 publicly reprimanding both Brooke N. Russell and Gillian S. DePrez, who had worked in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office until their resignations following drunken driving charges.

Russell pleaded guilty last year to Class A misdemeanor of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or more, then enrolled and completed a 12-hour alcohol education program. She was admitted to the bar in October 2007 and left the prosecutor’s office in January 2009. Russell is now working as a criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis.

This was Russell’s only disciplinary history and the public reprimand goes in her file for violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b), which prohibits attorneys from committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on the attorney’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. She must also pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

DePrez, who began practicing in May 2007 and worked in the prosecutor’s office sex crimes division, was arrested in July 2009 for drunk driving in Broad Ripple. She faced charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident, but a special prosecutor from Monroe County allowed her to plead guilty and avoid that drunken driving conviction. She pleaded guilty in November to reckless driving, and received 24 hours of community service and 90 days on nonreporting probation.

Spokeswoman Susan Decker with the prosecutor’s office wasn’t sure what DePrez has been doing since, but said she is being re-hired for the same position she held before the drunken driving incident. DePrez restarts in the sex crimes unit June 7, despite the public reprimand from the Indiana Supreme Court on Rule 8.4(b) and an order to pay for costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

These aren’t the only drunken driving incidents the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has faced recently. The most recent is spokesman and general counsel Mario V. Massillamany, who resigned in March after his arrest on a drunken driving charge in Hamilton County. His driving privileges have been suspended and he faces one Class A misdemeanor charge of operating while intoxicated in Hamilton Superior 6; a bench trial is set for July 2. The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has not yet filed any disciplinary actions against Massillamany, according to the online appellate docket.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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