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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Judge Brown suspended with pay, pending final disposition of disciplinary case

Late this afternoon, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous order suspending Judge Kimberly Brown with pay, effective the close of business today, Jan. 9, 2014. Here are the first two paragraphs of today's order, to which the ILB has added links to the referenced documents:

On December 27, 2013, the Special Masters in this matter tendered their report recommending certain findings of fact and conclusions of law and removal of the Respondent, the Hon. Kimberly J. Brown, from judicial office. On January 3, 2014, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications ("Commission") filed its "Response to Masters' Report and Recommendation," [ILB: accompanied by this 40-page supporting memorandum] in which the Commission recommended to the Supreme Court that the Respondent be removed from office, and immediately suspended with pay pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25(V)(B), which states, "A judicial officer shall be suspended with pay while there is pending before the Supreme Court a recommendation from the Commission for the ... removal of the judicial officer." On January 8, 2014, the Respondent filed a response asking the Court not to impose an interim suspension.

The final disposition of this matter by this Court will occur in due course. In the interim, because the Commission has made a recommendation of removal, the Respondent "shall be suspended with pay .... " Ind. Admission and Discipline Rule 25(V)(B).

Here is Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25(V)- Interim Suspension:
V. Interim Suspension.

A. A judicial officer shall be suspended with pay by the Supreme Court without the necessity of action by the Commission upon the filing of an indictment or information charging the judicial officer in any court in the United States with a crime punishable as a felony under the laws of Indiana or the United States.

B. A judicial officer shall be suspended with pay while there is pending before the Supreme Court a recommendation from the Commission for the retirement or removal of the judicial officer.

C. Upon a finding of guilty, plea of guilty, or plea of no contest to a crime punishable as a felony under the laws of Indiana or the United States, or any crime that involves moral turpitude under the law, a judicial officer may be suspended without pay by the Supreme Court.

D. A judicial officer may be suspended with pay by the Supreme Court without the necessity of action by the Commission upon the filing of an indictment or information charging the judicial officer with a misdemeanor which suggests conduct that adversely affects the ability to perform the duties of the judicial office. In the event the Supreme Court suspends a judicial officer under this provision without a hearing, the suspended judicial officer shall thereafter be permitted a hearing and review of the basis for the suspension.

E. Upon petition by the Commission, the Supreme Court may impose, pending the disposition of formal charges, an interim suspension with pay if the Court deems the interim suspension necessary to protect public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary. This provision is applicable in proceedings involving the disability of the judge as well as proceedings involving discipline.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 9, 2014 06:23 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions