The Indiana Supreme Court has issued a public reprimand against a senior judge convicted of driving while intoxicated.
In October 2016, Senior Judge T. Edward Page of Merillville was arrested after two individuals made 911 calls to the Porter County Sheriff’s Department about a southbound vehicle on State Road 149 periodically veering into northbound traffic. When a Porter County sheriff’s deputy observed a vehicle matching the description in the 911 calls, he stopped it and noticed signs of intoxication on the driver, later identified as Page. The deputy reported that he smelled alcohol and that Page’s speech was slurred, eyes were watery, manual dexterity was poor, and balance was unsteady.
Page was charged with Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of .15 percent or more. Page pleaded guilty to Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated as part of a plea agreement, and the state dropped the remaining charges.
As a result of his convictions, Page was sentenced to 60 days in jail, with 59 days suspended and credit for one day in jail. Additionally, the court placed him on unsupervised probation for 180 days, imposed an ignition interlock requirement on his driving privileges until Dec. 7, 2016, and imposed $883.50 in fines and court costs.
According to the Monday decision reprimanding Page, the senior judge immediately self-reported his misconduct and voluntarily contacted the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. However, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission found Page to be in violation of Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 1.1 and 1.2, which require judges to comply with the law and avoid impropriety.
The parties found Page’s self-reporting, compliance with JLAP requests and cooperation with the disciplinary investigation as mitigating factors. Additionally, the parties noted that Page was remorseful for his actions, thus recommending a public reprimand as the appropriate disciplinary measure.
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted that recommendation Monday, terminated the disciplinary proceedings against Page and assessed the costs of the proceedings against him.