Discipline charges filed against suspended Dunkirk judge

Formal disciplinary charges have been filed against suspended Dunkirk City Court Judge Tommy Dale Phillips II, who was recently sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty to felony battery on a law enforcement officer.

The Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission on Wednesday announced a formal discipline charge stemming from the incident. Phillips pleaded guilty to the Level 6 felony count after police reports said he shoved Dunkirk Police Chief Dane Mumbower, who also is his nephew, during a meeting in August with Mubower and Dunkirk Mayor Gene Ritter.

The JQC announced it would appoint three masters to conduct a public hearing and request the Indiana Supreme Court impose sanctions. The commission argues that the conduct of Phillips, who is not an attorney, violated Rules 1.1 and 1.2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct requiring a judge to respect and comply with the law, avoid impropriety and act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.

The Supreme Court suspended Phillips in September and later assigned Dunkirk City Court cases to be divided between two Jay County judges.

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