Justices issued an order this afternoon suspending Judge Hawkins with pay, effective today. A second order appoints Indianapolis attorney James Osborn as judge pro tempore until justices issue a final resolution. Osborn was elected this year as a new Marion Superior judge and is slated to take the bench in January.
This is the latest in a string of actions involving the case against Judge Hawkins, who was charged in April with judicial misconduct largely tied to case delays that resulted in wrongfully convicted Harold Buntin being kept in prison almost two years after DNA cleared him of a crime. Judge Hawkins' former Commissioner Nancy Broyles was also charged but has since resigned and been permanently banned from the bench.
A three-judge panel has recommended Judge Hawkins be removed from the bench, and the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission agrees with that recommendation.