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Friday, October 26, 2012

Ind. Courts - "The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against Tammy R. Davis, a candidate for judge of the Franklin Circuit Court."

From the beginning of the lengthy release just issued by the Supreme Court:

The charges stem from allegedly misleading statements Ms. Davis made (or which were attributed to her) about her opponent, Judge Steven Cox, during her campaign for Circuit Court judge. Several charges also stem from Ms. Davis’ failure to correct these statements.

The Code of Judicial Conduct applies to both judges and candidates for judicial office. If the Commission on Judicial Qualifications believes a judge or candidate for judge has violated the code of conduct, it can file charges, as it has done against Ms. Davis. The charges are allegations—only the five members of the Supreme Court can determine what, if any, allegations are true.

The charges center on statements made by or attributed to Ms. Davis regarding her opponent’s modification of a criminal defendant’s sentence. The statements relate to a defendant’s prison release date. Judge Cox released the defendant to probation in July 2010, but Ms. Davis maintained he was not eligible for release until March 2011. The defendant was in fact eligible for release in September 2010. The defendant is alleged to have committed crimes between September 2010 and March 2011. Ms. Davis repeatedly gave the public impression that the defendant would have been in prison at the time of the alleged crimes if Judge Cox had not modified his sentence.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission contacted Ms. Davis to alert her to the inaccuracies in her statements, and provided a letter from the Department of Correction verifying the defendant’s “out” date as September 2010. Still, Ms. Davis failed to correct the misleading statements made by or attributed to her that gave the inaccurate impression to the public that the defendant would have been in prison and would not have been able to commit certain crimes, including murder, had Judge Cox not modified the sentence.

A local newspaper attributed to Ms. Davis the statement that Judge Cox modified the defendant’s sentence because he was a boyhood friend of the defendant. There is no evidence to support Judge Cox and the defendant were friends.

[More] On August 30th the ILB posted an entry headed "This is very strange ...". It reported that Judge Cox was holding a public presentation to defend himself against charges.

Here is the 16-page Statement of Charges filed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. It is accompanied by an interesting 11-page Exhibit.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 26, 2012 10:46 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts