The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered that Hammond City Court Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin be suspended for 60 days without pay. The sanction results from the disciplinary case that accused him of operating an illegal traffic school deferral program, not collecting fees and dissuading a litigant from contesting a ticket in court.
An order posted on the appellate court docket Thursday afternoon shows the sanction, which comes just days before Harkin was scheduled to appear for a disciplinary hearing on Nov. 22. The justices will issue a full opinion “in due course” and will indicate then when the suspension takes effect, according to the order signed by acting Chief Justice Robert Rucker.
In June, the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission accused Harkin of violating three professional conduct rules. Two charges involve his operation of a long-established traffic school deferral program and not collecting fees between 2005 and 2010. The third charge involves an August 2010 seatbelt violation case where a defendant alleged the judge made inappropriate comments to him and dissuaded him from contesting the ticket in court. Harkin denied the allegations.