ILNews

Superior judge steps aside because of illness

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2010
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A Grant County judge's illness has forced him from the bench temporarily, and the Indiana Supreme Court has appointed a deputy prosecutor from Marion as judge pro tempore.

Grant Superior 2 Judge Randall Lee Johnson filed a petition earlier this week that notified the state's highest court that he was unable to perform Superior Court 2 duties because of illness. While details of his illness aren't outlined by the Supreme Court, Judge Johnson has been experiencing health problems for more than a year because of mold infestation in the county's historic courthouse.

In mid-2008, the Indiana State Department of Health found mold and mildew problems in the court complex. The county relocated both Superior 2 and the juvenile court to the county office complex, and Judge Johnson had been working from home and hearing cases despite health issues related to the mold. Other court employees have also had health problems and the judge has temporarily closed the court in the past. County officials are still in the process of finalizing repairs or renovations for the Superior 2 location.

Judge Johnson took the bench in 2001, and his current term is set to expire at the end of 2012. Under Trial Rule 63 (B)(1), the Supreme Court granted his petition and named Marion attorney Dana Kenworthy as judge pro tempore. The high court's public information officer described that as a rare move, having to appoint a judge pro tem because of illness.

A 2001 graduate of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis, Kenworthy has been a Grant County deputy prosecutor since 2001. Aside from those full-time prosecutor duties, Kenworthy has also received recognition and awards, including the Randall T. Shepard Award, for her pro bono work. She served four years as the county's pro bono committee chair and continues serving District 6, while also working to set up a mediation program in her community.

The Indiana Supreme Court has not indicated how long Kenworthy will serve in that role, but her appointment takes effect Monday and her service remains in effect until the court orders otherwise.
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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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