Judicial panel opts not to make sanction recommendations for ex-magistrate banned from bench

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications is requesting that the law license of a former Hamilton County magistrate busted in a meth sting only be reinstated if he can maintain a sustained recovery and fully comply with the Judges & Lawyers Assistance Program.

Former Hamilton Superior Court Magistrate Judge William Greenaway was arrested in March 2019 and charged with buying meth from a police informant, leading to his suspension by the Indiana Supreme Court. He was also fired from his post at the Noblesville courthouse.

Greenaway pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanor counts of possession of meth and resisting law enforcement, and the state dropped his count of Level 6 felony obstruction of justice stemming from his alleged attempt to swallow the evidence. He was sentenced to a year of probation and substance abuse evaluation and possible treatment.

Greenaway also faced a judicial discipline case related to his conduct, which included him biting the thumb of an officer who tried to pry a bag of meth from the jurist’s mouth.

On April 5, the commission filed a verified notice of violation, request for suspension pending revocation, and a motion to revoke Greenaway’s probation after alleging he had tested positive for meth in January 2021.

It also alleged that Greenaway tested positive for THC, amphetamine and alcohol use in March 2021, canceled an appointment with a scheduled treatment provider just an hour before meeting, failed to reschedule the appointment and failed to check in to find out whether he was required to submit a drug/alcohol test that day.

The Indiana Supreme Court on April 9 issued an order to respond and show cause regarding the probation revocation proceedings ordering Greenaway to respond to the qualifications commission’s notice within 10 days.

Greenaway did not timely respond to the Supreme Court’s order that he submit a response to each, and the justices immediately suspended him pending final resolution of the commission’s notice.

In an order filed Monday, the qualifications commission noted that it offers “no specific recommendation” to the Indiana Supreme Court on “the amount of suspension that should be imposed as a sanction for Respondent’s violation of probation, nor does the Commission offer a recommendation as to whether reinstatement of Respondent’s law license following any sanction should be with or without automatic reinstatement.”

It did, however, request that the reinstatement of Greenaway’s law license be contingent upon his affirmatively demonstrating a continued, sustained recovery and prolonged abstinence from any substance that would negatively impact his sobriety, as defined by JLAP, in addition to full compliance with its other directives and conditions.

“If the Court decides to impose as a sanction a license suspension without automatic reinstatement, the Commission requests that future reinstatement proceedings be filed in In the Matter of William Paul Greenaway, case number 20S-DI-00627,” the commission wrote, signed by commission staff attorney Akash Burney and commission counsel Adrienne Meiring.

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