State board recommends public reprimand for Akron judge Oldfield

A state disciplinary board is recommending that Akron Municipal Judge Joy Malek Oldfield receive a public reprimand for failing to recuse herself from cases involving a public defender after the two were found together in a parked car in Copley Township.

The same board found that Oldfield did not use her position to try to stop the arrest of assistant public defender Catherine Loya. It also said it was inconclusive whether the women were engaged in sexual activity when a police officer found them parked at a shopping plaza in the early hours of Feb. 5, 2012.

The findings by the Ohio Board of Grievances and Discipline go to the Ohio Supreme Court for final dispensation.

Oldfield and her attorney, George Jonson, declined comment on the report.

The panel found that Oldfield wanted to help Loya avoid arrest because she believed the attorney was sober and to avoid the “adverse publicity that might be associated with the fact that they were together when the arrest occurred.”

However, the panel concluded a lack of evidence existed that Oldfield sought to use her position to influence the officers at the scene.

A Copley police officer testified that he found the women engaged in sexual activity in the car’s backseat. He said he smelled alcohol on Loya’s breath, and she was arrested.

Oldfield and Loya testified at the judge’s disciplinary hearing in August that they were only talking.
The morning after the incident, Oldfield and Loya conferred with Akron Assistant City Prosecutor Gertrude Wilms and Chief Public Defender Joseph Kodish about it. All agreed to allow Loya to remain assigned to Oldfield’s court.

In the days that followed, Loya lived at Oldfield’s house and was driven to and from work for four days until her driving privileges were restored.

It wasn’t until the Beacon Journal reported on Loya’s arrest and questioned Kodish about the arrangement that Loya was transferred.

The panel determined that Oldfield should have recused herself immediately because the assignment created an “appearance of impropriety.”

Oldfield handled about 50 uncontested pleas involving defendants Loya represented.

Full Article and Source:
State board recommends public reprimand for Akron judge Oldfield

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2 Responses to “State board recommends public reprimand for Akron judge Oldfield”

  1. StandUp Says:

    If they were involved, then obviously he should hare recused and deserves the punishment.

  2. Thelma Says:

    Pay to play!

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