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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ind. Courts - "Hammond city judge admits fault, accepts suspension "

Updating earlier ILB entries from June 30th and Nov. 6th, 2011, Bill Dolan of the NWI Times reported last evening:

HAMMOND | City Judge Jeffrey Harkin has agreed to serve a 60-day suspension from public office to resolve civil disciplinary charges leveled against him by state judicial officials.

The Indiana Supreme Court issued a written order Friday saying Harkin will give up his judicial salary during the suspension period and will pay the state for the cost of bringing evidence against him that he violated state laws and the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct.

The state is dismissing one of three counts it lodged against Harkin under this week's agreement, which Harkin signed before the Nov. 8 general election where voters re-elected him to a new four-year term. Harkin has been city judge since April 2001. * * *

Harkin admits in this week's agreement he violated judicial code requiring him to be patient, dignified and courteous and not to coerce parties into a settlement.

The state agrees Hammond City Court's traffic school had been under way for decades under earlier judges, although the state didn't express any concerns about its operation to the prior judges. The state warned Harkin he had no authority to conduct the school as he did.

The Indiana Supreme Court said it will issue an opinion in the near future specifying when the suspension is to begin.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 19, 2011 03:16 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions