Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications

Panel: 1 judge remains, another off ballot

September 3, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Election Commission has pulled one Lake County judicial candidate off the ballot because of how the political process put him into the race, while a controversial incumbent Allen Superior judge remains on the ballot despite arguments that his disciplinary history should keep him off.
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Judge faces 4 charges

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge presiding over the county’s traffic court faces four judicial misconduct charges as a result of his general handling of traffic infraction cases and one suit in particular, where the state justices have described him as being “biased.”
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Marion Superior traffic judge charged with misconduct

July 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge presiding over the county’s traffic court faces four judicial misconduct charges as a result of his general handling of traffic infraction cases and one suit in particular, where the state justices have described him as being “biased.”
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Marion Superior Traffic judge charged with misconduct

July 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has charged Marion Superior Judge William E. Young with misconduct for his handling of traffic court cases.
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Judge returns to bench following suspension

May 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The LaPorte Superior judge suspended for asking a law enforcement officer to destroy potential evidence in her accidental shooting returned to the bench today.
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New judge gets 60-day unpaid suspension

March 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer L. Koethe for 60 days without pay, effective March 12.
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Suspended LaPorte judge acquitted at trial

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A suspended LaPorte Superior judge has been acquitted of any criminal charges involving an accidental shooting where her head was grazed by a bullet and led to accusations that she tried to cover up details about what happened.
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Suspended judge faces disciplinary charges

December 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed charges against the suspended LaPorte Superior judge who was shot in the head just before taking the bench this year.
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Madison County judge resigns amid misconduct investigation

September 24, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A longtime Madison County judge who's been repeatedly sanctioned and even suspended in the past is resigning amid a new investigation into his alleged misconduct during a 2007 murder trial.
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Judge must pay $10,000 in disciplinary fees

August 26, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The judge and former commissioner disciplined for their roles that led to a wrongfully convicted man staying in prison must pay nearly $18,000 in expenses related to their disciplinary proceedings.
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Town court judge publicly admonished

June 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications issued a public admonition of the Walkerton Town Court judge today for employing his wife as court clerk for more than 10 years and for participating in an ex parte conversation with a defendant about her traffic infractions.
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Indicted judge to be suspended

May 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed a notice with the Indiana Supreme Court for a request of suspension of LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Koethe, who was indicted Thursday for attempted obstruction of justice stemming from a shooting incident at her home in December.
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Justices disagree on judge's penalty

March 12, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A suspended Marion Superior judge will be able to return to the bench after another 60 days off the bench, this time without pay.
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Judge suspended for 60 days, no pay

March 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins from the bench for 60 days without pay, though two justices wanted a yearlong penalty while two others wanted a month suspension.
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Justices reprimand Allen Circuit judge

March 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today publicly reprimanded Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts, who last summer was arrested for and later pleaded guilty to drunk driving.
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Allen Circuit judge faces misconduct charges

January 26, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed misconduct charges today against Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts, who pleaded guilty last year to drunk driving.
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Judge's suspension begins Feb. 11

January 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen County judge sanctioned as a result of his conduct in a fellow jurist's courtroom will serve a three-day suspension without pay beginning Feb. 11, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today.
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Commission admonishes Miami Superior judge

January 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Miami Superior judge received a public admonition today from the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications for granting an ex parte petition in a child custody case. The commission also noted it has repeatedly addressed this type of violation for years.
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Justices: judicial discipline now moot

January 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has ended a disciplinary action against a former LaPorte Superior judge who'd served in senior capacity for three years because that jurist has retired and will no longer practice law.
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Special masters named in senior judge's case

December 19, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has named three trial judges to serve as special masters in the disciplinary action against Senior Judge Walter P. Chapala, formerly of the LaPorte Superior Court.
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Judge argues for suspension, not removal

December 15, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge who's been suspended from the bench pending a final decision from the Indiana Supreme Court believes his penalty should fall somewhere between a public reprimand and removal.
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Commission wants judge suspended now

November 24, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission agrees with a three-masters panel that a Marion Superior judge should be removed from the bench but wants him immediately suspended while the Indiana Supreme Court considers his final punishment.
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Court sanctions Allen County judge

November 21, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Allen Superior Judge Kenneth R. Scheibenberger for three days without pay as part of an agreement to resolve a judicial misconduct action.
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Senior judge accused of misconduct

October 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed five charges against a senior judge and former LaPorte Superior Court judge, alleging he violated ethics rules while serving as an elected judge.
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Commissioner permanently banned as judge

October 10, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court approved an agreement between the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and a former Marion County commissioner and issued an order permanently banning her from serving as a judge.
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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