A Delaware County judge is resigning more than a month after the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission initiated an investigation of his business interests and judicial obligations.
Delaware Circuit Judge Wayne J. Lennington announced his resignation in a letter to Gov. Mitch Daniels last week. The judge did not return telephone calls from Indiana Lawyer, but he told media in Muncie that he wasn’t resigning because of the investigation and had informed the commission that “health reasons” prompted his resignation.
His resignation takes effect May 15, which means the governor will need to appoint a successor.
Judge Lennington took the bench in 1998 after being appointed by then-Gov. Frank O’Bannon, and he’d served as a master and probate commissioner in the county since 1990.
Muncie attorney Charles Clark, who is representing Judge Lennington, said he wasn’t able to speak about the matter and wasn’t able to confirm any reasons for the judge’s resignation. He did confirm that an agreement for resignation had been reached, though.
“The less said the better, I think,” Clark told Indiana Lawyer today.
Whether Judge Lennington committed any misconduct was never established because he announced his retirement before it could get to that point, according to commission counsel Meg Babcock.
An agreement released by the commission states that it has agreed to suspend the investigation it began Feb. 25 but retains the right to reopen the probe if the judge violates the terms. One of the restrictions states the judge “will make no public statements misrepresenting the status of the Commission’s investigation, of the criminal investigation, or of the terms of the Commission’s agreement to suspend the investigation.”