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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ind. Decisions - "Justices suspend ex-prosecutor over drug forfeiture"

So reports Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star.

There is nothing available yet on the Court site, and there has been no press release.

Here is the most recent ILB entry, from Nov. 1, 2010. It is interesting to read it, in light of today's suspension story.

[More] The 10-page order has now been posted:

In the Matter of Mark R. McKinney - It is a per curiam order (without now-Justice David, as he was the hearing officer in the case) that begins:

We find that Respondent, Mark R. McKinney, while serving as a deputy prosecuting attorney, conducted asset forfeiture proceedings in a manner that created a conflict of interest between his duties as a public official and the private gain he realized in the forfeiture proceedings. On numerous occasions when the ethics of the asset forfeiture procedures were called into question, Respondent turned a blind eye and acted to protect his private interest in his continued pursuit of forfeiture property. For this serious attorney misconduct, we find that Respondent should be suspended from the practice of law in this state for 120 days with automatic reinstatement.
From the conclusion:
The Court concludes that Respondent violated the Indiana Professional Conduct Rules by representing the State when the representation could have been materially limited by his own self-interest in receiving compensation as a private attorney from property forfeited in civil forfeiture actions and under CSAs.

For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law for a period of 120 days, beginning July 28, 2011. * * *

All Justices concur, except Rucker, J., who concurs in part and dissents in part, and David, J., who did not participate.

Agreeing with the recommendation of the hearing officer that a public reprimand is appropriate in this case, Justice Rucker dissents to the sanction imposed by the majority. Otherwise he concurs in the majority opinion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 16, 2011 02:41 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions