ILNews

Traffic judge's 60-day suspension begins next week

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint

Hammond City Court Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin will begin serving his 60-day unpaid suspension on Dec. 27 as a result of an agreement he reached with the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and approved by the state’s highest court.

The Indiana Supreme Court issued a per curiam order Dec. 20, a month after ordering the judge’s suspension resulting from his conduct in court. The judicial disciplinary commission earlier this year accused Harkin of violating three professional conduct rules: two charges involve his operation of a long-established traffic school deferral program and failure to collect fees between 2005 and 2010, while a third charge involves an August 2010 seatbelt violation case in which a defendant alleged the judge made inappropriate comments to him and dissuaded him from contesting the ticket in court.

Harkin reached a conditional agreement with the commission, and the Supreme Court accepted the agreement on Nov. 17. In its opinion, the court recounted the history of the case and pointed to mitigating factors: that the city court had been referring litigants to traffic school for decades and neither previous judges or prosecutors raised concerns; and that Harkin has already addressed personnel issues that accounted for his lack of investigation about concerns regarding the traffic school.

“The Court agrees with the parties that under the circumstances of this case, the disposition they propose is an appropriate result,” the opinion states. “As we stated recently in another matter, ‘A suspension from office without pay, regardless of duration, is not a minor sanction. Even more than a public reprimand, any such suspension is a significant blemish on a sitting judge’s reputation.’”

Gary attorney Kenya Jones has been appointed as judge pro tem and will preside during Harkin’s suspension, between Dec. 27 and Feb 25.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
ADVERTISEMENT