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Masters named in Allen County judge's case

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The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed three judges to serve as masters in an Allen Superior judge's disciplinary misconduct action following an incident in another judge's courtroom.

Marion Superior Judge Sheila A. Carlisle, Vigo Circuit/Superior Judge David R. Bolk, and Lake Superior Judge Thomas P. Stefaniak were named by the high court Sept. 3 to hear and take evidence concerning charges filed against Allen Superior Judge Kenneth R. Scheibenberger.

Judge Scheibenberger is accused of violating canons that require judges to uphold the integrity of the judiciary and high standards of conduct, of not avoiding impropriety and promoting the public's confidence in the judiciary, committing conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and committing willful misconduct of office.

The charges stem from the judge suspending his court session to go to Allen Superior Judge Frances Gull's courtroom to watch a sentencing hearing. Judge Scheibenberger sat in the back of the courtroom wearing his black judicial robe while a defendant was sentenced for a weapons violation. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge approached the deputy prosecutor, created a disturbance, and verbally berated the defendant in front of his parents.

The masters have 30 days to submit a schedule with an anticipated hearing completion date, and according to the court docket in this matter, the submission of the masters' report should be complete by the second week of January 2009.

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