The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against Hamilton Superior Judge William Hughes. The charges are related to the judge’s arrest for driving while impaired and later guilty plea to misdemeanor reckless driving in North Carolina.
Judge Hughes was arrested in October 2010 in the Outer Banks in North Carolina while vacationing. His breath test showed an alcohol concentration of 0.13 grams. The DWI charge was dismissed in April 2011 and the judge pleaded guilty in Currituck County, N.C., to the charge of misdemeanor reckless driving. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which was suspended, and placed on unsupervised probation for 12 months. As part of the agreement, Judge Hughes must also complete an alcohol and drug assessment program or attend substance abuse counseling, not drive a car within eight hours of drinking, and pay a fine and court costs.
The Disciplinary Commission claims that Judge Hughes violated Rule 1.1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires judges to respect and comply with the law; and Rule 1.2, which requires judges to uphold the integrity of the judiciary and to maintain high standards of conduct.
Judge Hughes reported his arrest to the commission after it happened. He has 20 days after he receives the charges to file a written answer.