Hamilton County magistrate judge sentenced in meth case faces discipline

More than 18 months after his arrest on felony charges stemming from a methamphetamine sting, a former Hamilton County magistrate judge also faces a judicial discipline case related to his conduct. Police said that conduct included biting the thumb of an officer who tried to pry a bag of meth from the jurist’s mouth.

Former Hamilton Superior Court Magistrate Judge William Greenaway was suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court then fired by his fellow jurists in the Noblesville courthouse after he was arrested in March 2019 and charged with buying meth from a police informant.

According to online court records, Greenaway pleaded guilty Sept. 24 to Class A misdemeanor counts of possession of meth and resisting law enforcement. The state dropped the most serious charge, Level 6 felony obstruction of justice, which was related to Greenaway’s alleged attempt to swallow the evidence. He was sentenced to a year of probation and substance abuse evaluation and possible treatment.

probable cause affidavit says that when police approached Greenaway’s SUV in March 2019 in Noblesville, the magistrate judge swallowed the bag of meth he’d bought just bought from a confidential informant. An officer tried to pry the bag out of Greenway’s mouth and was bitten on the thumb. Greenaway was accused of buying 2.4 grams of meth for $140 from an Indiana State Police informant.

According to the affidavit, ISP officers and Noblesville police in November 2018 heard from a confidential informant who claimed to have witnessed Greenaway, who was going through a divorce at the time, using meth with his girlfriend. Investigators believed the information was reliable, and after multiple interviews with the informant, they set up the sting.

The Commission on Judicial Qualifications on Friday issued its 14-page notice of institution of formal proceedings and statement of charges in In the Matter of the Hon. William Paul Greenaway, 19S-JD-165.

The commission charges Greenaway’s meth purchase and subsequent conviction violated Rule 1.1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires a judicial officer to respect and comply with the law; Rule 1.2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires a judicial officer to avoid impropriety and to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety; and Rule 8.4(b) of the Rules of Professional Responsibility, which provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

In trying to swallow the bag of meth, Greenaway likewise violated those same rules, the seven-member commission alleges. Greenaway has 20 days to respond to the judicial discipline charges against him.

Greenaway was admitted to practice in 1996 and his status on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys is active in good standing.

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