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Marion County judge admonished for fundraising flyer

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The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has admonished a Marion Superior judge for mailing a questionable re-election fundraising flyer that it says put the judiciary in a negative light and implied that justice is for sale.

Judge Rebekah Pierson-Treacy received the admonishment following an August solicitation that went to 600 attorneys and judges in the Indianapolis area about a fundraiser being held on her behalf. The flyer contained suggested contribution levels – $150 to be designated as a "Sustained" contributor, $250 to be “Affirmed,” $500 to be “So Ordered” and $1,000 for a "Favorable Ruling." While those responsible for the solicitation say it was meant as a play on words, some took issue with the language and raised concerns.

The admonishment states that although the solicitation indicated it had been paid for and authorized by the Re-Elect Judge Becky Committee, the co-chairs of the committee and treasurer never reviewed the invitation and weren’t involved in its creation. The judge and her husband, Marion County Democratic Party Chair Ed Treacy, reviewed and authorized the flyer prior to mailing, according to the admonishment.

After the legal community and media raised concerns about the invitation, the event that was scheduled for Sept. 15 at the law firm of Pence Hensel was cancelled.

An investigation by the judicial disciplinary commission found that Pierson-Treacy violated both Rule 1.2 and 4.2(A)(1) of the state’s judicial code of conduct, which require judges to act in a manner that promotes the public’s confidence in the judiciary and in a way that maintains the independence, integrity and impartiality of the third branch.

“There is no evidence the judge intended to barter rulings for contributions,” the public admonishment says. “Nonetheless, the content of the invitation presented a negative view of the judiciary. Although Judge Pierson-Treacy’s stated intent may have been to make the traditional graduated donation levels more entertaining, the injudicious language in her invitation likely gave the impression to members of the general public that the judge’s rulings could be influenced by campaign contributions.”

This public admonishment concludes the disciplinary matter and means that no judicial misconduct charges will be officially filed against Pierson-Treacy, who has been on bench since 2001.

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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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