Former magistrate banned from bench gets 180-day suspension for probation violations

A former Hamilton County magistrate who was banned from the bench and put on disciplinary probation after being convicted in a drug sting has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for 180 days without automatic reinstatement.

The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday imposed the suspension on William P. Greenaway in an order also revoking his probation. The start of Greenaway’s suspension is backdated to April 23 — the same day he was placed under an interim suspension for failing to respond to a show-cause order.

Once a magistrate judge in Hamilton County, Greenaway was suspended from the bench in December after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice. Those counts were charged as felonies in March 2019, when Greenaway was arrested after a controlled buy in which he swallowed drug evidence and bit a law enforcement officer.

The high court in December had initially suspended Greenaway from the practice of law for one year beginning in January, but all but 90 days would be stayed subject to the successful completion of at least two years of probation. The terms of probation included complying with treatment as determined and monitored by the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and committing no violations of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct during the probationary period.

But then in April, the justices issued a show-cause order giving Greenaway 10 days to answer why he should not serve an active suspension for violating his probation. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications alleged the former magistrate had tested positive for meth, THC, amphetamine and alcohol use in early 2021, canceled an appointment with a treatment provider an hour before the appointment and failed to reschedule, and failed to determine whether he was required to submit a drug/alcohol test on the day of the appointment.

The JQC last month requested that Greenaway’s license — at that point under an interim suspension — only be reinstated if he could maintain a sustained recovery and fully comply with JLAP. It did not make a specific recommendation as to the length of a suspension or whether his sanction for his probation violations should be with or without automatic reinstatement.

Greenaway can petition for reinstatement at the end of the 180-day period if he has fulfilled the duties of a suspended attorney and satisfied the requirements for reinstatement under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18). The court added, “Reinstatement is discretionary and requires clear and convincing evidence of the attorney’s remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law.”

With the judicial component of Greenaway’s discipline closed, the court ordered that any future matters regarding his discipline, including a petition for reinstatement, should be handled by the court’s Disciplinary Commission and filed under cause number 20S-DI-627.

The case is In the Matter of: William P. Greenaway, 19S-JD-165, 20S-DI-627.

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