Allen Circuit Judge Thomas J. Felts pleaded guilty today in Marion Superior Court to operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a misdemeanor. Marion Superior Judge William Nelson sentenced the judge to one year probation and suspended his driver’s license for 90 days, starting tomorrow.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office asked the judge to immediately suspend Judge Felt’s driver’s license, but Judge Nelson allowed for a one-day delay so that Judge Felts could drive home to Allen County, said Marion County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Matthew Symons.
Judge Felts issued a statement today through the Allen Circuit Court administrator expressing disappointment in his actions. He accepts full responsibility for what happened and said “… nothing contained in the Court’s sentence has been, is or will be as difficult to endure as the dishonor I have brought upon myself and my family.”
He goes on in the public statement to say that being a judge is a “tremendous honor and privilege” and he is “pained to the core” at having disappointed his family, friends, and those he works with to uphold the law.
According to the statement, the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission will investigate him and he said he will fully cooperate. The judge has not presided over any criminal cases since his arrest and intends not to until consulting with those who will give him appropriate counsel.
“I offer only the profoundest apology possible to my community, those citizens who come before me in the Courtroom, my colleagues on the bench and the legal profession, for actions such as those in which I engaged certainly show a complete lack of respect and compliance with the law and a failure to uphold and promote the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary,” he wrote. “For that, I owe the citizens of Allen County an apology and promise to re-earn your trust.”