Ex-judge Hale’s punishment not enough, Supreme Court says

A six-month suspension of former Franklin County Environmental Court Judge Harland Hale’s law license isn’t punishment enough, the Ohio Supreme Court declared today.

In an unusual move, the justices rejected the recommended punishment and sent the case back to the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline for further proceedings, “including consideration of a more severe sanction.”

Hale has admitted that he committed judicial misconduct by dismissing a speeding ticket in December 2011 for a lawyer who represented him in state and federal lawsuits. The judge, who sat on the bench for a decade, announced his retirement on May 9, one week after the disciplinary counsel filed a complaint against him. He said then he wanted to continue his career as a lawyer.

Hale had reached a “discipline by consent” agreement with the high court’s disciplinary counsel. The Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline approved the agreement on Oct. 14 and recommended it to the Supreme Court.

Hale dismissed a speeding ticket for attorney Patrick M. Quinn, who was representing him in sexual-harassment lawsuits. The judge threw out the ticket “without any involvement from the prosecutor or Quinn” and signed a judgment that “falsely stated: Prosecutor dismisses,” the agreement says.

About four months later, he engaged in improper communication about the case by contacting Quinn and Chief City Prosecutor Lara Baker-Morrish. He asked each to sign an entry indicating that the ticket was dismissed “with the consent of the Columbus city attorney’s office and the defendant.” Baker-Morrish refused.

Hale eventually vacated the dismissal and removed himself from the case. Quinn pleaded guilty and paid a $55 fine and $116 in court costs on the day that the judge stepped aside.

Quinn represented Hale in three lawsuits stemming from complaints of inappropriate behavior against the judge by a court employee and a defendant in a drunken-driving case. All three cases were settled out of court.

Full Article and Source:
Ex-judge Hale’s punishment not enough, Supreme Court says

See Also:
Ex-judge Hale agrees to six-month law license suspension

Ohio Judge Accused of Misconduct for Dismissing His Own Lawyer’s Speeding Ticket

Ohio: Judge Accused of Dismissing His Lawyer’s Traffic Ticket Quits

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Ex-judge Hale’s punishment not enough, Supreme Court says”

  1. Ben Says:

    This is encouraging!

  2. Ben Says:

    This is encouraging!

  3. StandUp Says:

    He should be disbarred forever.

  4. StandUp Says:

    He should be disbarred forever.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: