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Monday, March 23, 2015

Ind. Courts - More on: "Disciplinary commission recommends action against Floyd County Prosecutor over David Camm case" And who should pay?

Supplementing Thursday's story from WDRB Louisville was this long Friday story by Grace Schneider of the Louisville Courier Journal. Some quotes:

State officials allege that Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson violated rules of professional conduct by attempting to secure a book deal about the David Camm triple-murder case — and later by seeking taxpayer money to fund his defense after state investigators launched an ethics probe.

On Thursday, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission accused Henderson of lying about the book deal, then being deceitful in seeking taxpayer funds to pay for his ethics defense.

The commission asked the Indiana Supreme Court to discipline Henderson for professional misconduct and force him to pay restitution and other costs. The complaint is the first step in a continuing process to resolve the matter.

Henderson, who was re-elected last November, said he disagrees with the commission's finding and is glad the issues will get a hearing. "I don't believe there was any impropriety," he said.

The 25-page complaint, however, is a resounding rebuke to a prosecutor who has vigorously denied any wrongdoing. He also repeated his assertion that he thought it was proper for Floyd County government to pay $27,539.55 to defend him against the grievance.

Many county residents wondered whether the ethics probe had been dropped because such inquiries remain confidential unless the commission decides to file a complaint, as it did in this case. The issue was last mentioned at a Floyd council meeting in October 2012.

ILB: SB 507, which is now in the House Judiciary Committee, would appear to be relevant to cases such as this. The digest:
Attorney and judicial discipline complaints. Permits a prosecuting attorney and a county public defender (including a contract public defender) to seek reimbursement from the state for reasonable attorney's fees incurred in defending against a charge of attorney misconduct if: (1) the alleged misconduct relates to the person's official duties or status as a prosecuting attorney or public defender; (2) the charge of misconduct does not result in a sanction (except for a private reprimand); and (3) the attorney general approves the reimbursement.
Another might be the Antonio Smith v. State of Indiana case, which is pending before the Supreme Court. This was a Nov. 24, 2014 COA opinion which included at footnote 2: "Thus, we direct the Clerk of this Court to send a copy of this opinion to the Disciplinary Commission. We also note that instances of prosecutorial misbehavior continue to come before us on appeal notwithstanding our admonishments."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 23, 2015 12:44 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts