Former magistrate banned from the bench now suspended for ignoring show-cause order

The former Hamilton County magistrate who is banned from the bench following his conviction related to a drug sting is now suspended from practicing law after he failed to respond to a show cause order alleging probation violations.

The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday suspended William P. Greenaway, effective immediately. The former magistrate on April 9 was given 10 days to respond to a show cause order, but he failed to do so.

The April 9 order alleged Greenaway had violated his probation in his discipline case, though it did not specify the nature of those violations. His failure to respond means the allegations are now deemed “admitted,” according to the Friday order.

Greenaway was removed from the bench in December but was allowed to continue practicing law after a 90-day suspension. He was banned from judicial service and suspended from practicing law for one year beginning Jan. 15, 2021, with the first 90 days served and the balance “conditionally stayed subject to successful completion of at least two (2) years of probation. If, after 90 days of active suspension, Respondent has fully complied with all the terms of his probation to date, his license shall be automatically reinstated, and he shall continue with the terms of his probation.”

His probation terms included complying with treatment as determined and monitored by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and committing no violation of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct during his probation.

Greenaway pleaded guilty in September to misdemeanor charges of possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice, both of which had been charged as Level 6 felonies when Greenaway was arrested in March 2019.

The Supreme Court immediately suspended Greenaway after his arrest and the county’s judges immediately suspended him.

According to a probable cause affidavit, after Greenaway bought about $140 worth of meth from a confidential informant in November 2018, Indiana State Police and Noblesville police moved on his vehicle after the arranged buy at a Goodwill parking lot in Noblesville.

A plain-clothes detective watching nearby exited his car and began to walk toward Greenaway, and uniformed officers in unmarked cars pulled in behind Greenaway’s vehicle after the handoff. As a state police officer identified himself and yelled for Greenaway to put his hands up, he “witnessed Greenaway place a plastic baggie that (an ISP detective) recognized and knew was methamphetamine in his mouth,” the affidavit says.

The detective “pushed his right thumb into Greenaway’s mouth trying to pry it open. This technique worked for a short time, until Greenaway used his teeth to bite down hard” onto the detective’s thumb, forcing him to remove it “to prevent further injury to his thumb. Suddenly, Greenaway opened his mouth and began to comply,” having swallowed the baggie.

After he was transported to Riverview Hospital, the affidavit says Greenaway told an ISP sergeant, “I have been set up.” Asked why he swallowed the package, the affidavit says Greenaway told investigators, “I panicked. I knew what it was and the guy said ‘State Police,’ and I said what the f— do I do and I swallowed the damn stuff so whatever it was, it’s in me now.”

The judicial discipline case is In the Matter of: William Paul Greenaway, 19S-JD-165.

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