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Monday, August 08, 2016

Ind. Courts - "State ethics commission still awaits fired prosecutor"

Updating earlier ILB posts on this matter that were headed "Prosecutors knew molestation accusations were false," Bob Kasarda of the NWI Times wrote this weekend on the Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission process. Some quotes:

Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa said he intends to refer the matter to the Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission for an ethical review, which could result in a penalty as severe as disbarment.

But don't expect a quick decision by the commission or even a confirmation that a complaint is filed, according to Kathryn Dolan, chief public information officer with the Indiana Supreme Court.

Grievances, as they are initially called, can be filed by anyone, she said, but are not made public. They are reviewed and either dismissed for lack of cause or further investigated.

If it is believed there was lawyer misconduct, the case is passed on to the full commission, which decides whether to pursue it by filing a complaint with the clerk of the Supreme Court, Dolan said. The matter is only revealed to the public if a complaint is pursued, she said.

Of the 1,422 grievances received during the 2014-15 fiscal year, 32 verified complaints were filed, Dolan said. This amounts to 2.25 percent of the total.

Complaints are either resolved with the attorney or a hearing officer is appointed to listen to the evidence, according to the Disciplinary Commission. Both types of resolutions are referred to the Supreme Court for final action.

If the Supreme Court agrees a lawyer has engaged in misconduct, it orders a disciplinary sanction. Sanctions include a private or public reprimand, suspension from practice for a set amount of time or until the lawyer "proves fitness," or permanent disbarment, according to the commission.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 8, 2016 10:31 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts