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Town court judge publicly admonished

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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.

Judge Roger L. Huizenga was admonished for violating Canon 3C(4) and Rule 2.12 - which replaced Canon 3C(4) effective Jan. 1, 2009 - when he hired his wife as court clerk for the town court in St. Joseph County. His wife was court clerk from November 1995 until March 13, 2009, when she resigned after the initiation of the commission's investigation.

In 1998, the ICJQ issued an advisory opinion setting out guidelines and restrictions for judges on the hiring of friends or relatives and stated judges were advised to contact the commission to discuss potential employment. The opinion also stated the employment or appointment of a spouse will likely never be appropriate. Judge Huizenga didn't contact the commission to discuss employing his wife as court clerk.

The judge admitted violating Cannons 1, 2 and 3B(8) as a result of his participating in an ex parte conversation with a woman on the state of her traffic violations and for his assumption of the role of prosecutor when he negotiated a resolution to the defendant's case. He told her she would have to pay her speeding ticket but her ticket for the expired license plate would be dismissed if she renewed her plate within 30 days. No deputy prosecutor was present for the conversation between Judge Huizenga and the defendant.

The admonition concludes the commission's investigation and the judge won't be formally charged with ethical misconduct.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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