Archive for the ‘alleged judicial misconduct’ Category

Judge facing discipline refused to take deposition oath

November 8, 2013

Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown refused to be sworn during a deposition before the Judicial Qualifications Commission – a videotaped moment of defiance used against her Monday at the outset of her weeklong disciplinary case.

Over the objection of Brown’s attorneys, the three-judge panel of special masters allowed into evidence the judge’s videotaped refusal to swear to tell the truth during an Aug. 1 deposition in the case that now includes 47 counts of judicial misconduct.

“I am always an officer of the court,” Brown says in refusing to take the oath. “I am a judge.”

Meanwhile, Brown’s attorneys said the case against her is a result of problems with her court staff and that she’s being singled out for delayed releases of criminal defendants that have happened with other Marion Superior judges.

Brown was the first witness called in a hearing expected to last at least through the end of this week and possibly into next week. Brown wiped away tears as she attempted to explain why she refused to be sworn in the deposition. “I believe I’m always an officer of the court and therefore always bound to the truth,” she said.

“But you decided to do something different today,” JQC attorney Adrienne Meiring said after Brown took an oath before the masters. Retired Monroe Circuit Judge Viola Taliaferro is presiding over the panel that includes Boone Superior Judge Rebecca S. McClure and Lake Superior Judge Sheila M. Moss.

Meiring pointed Brown to rules of evidence requiring witnesses be sworn and admitted into evidence the statutes governing oaths that judges and other public officials such as police officers must take. Taliaferro asked Brown multiple times to explain why she believed she wasn’t required to swear an oath at the deposition.

“I wasn’t basing it on anything other than I’m always an officer of the court,” Brown said.

Meiring argued that Brown’s refusal to be sworn at the deposition illustrated the nature of many of the complaints against her. The charges against Brown include allegations that she delayed release of at least nine defendants – in one case for 22 days – failed to properly oversee her court, was hostile toward parties who came before and retaliated against court staff who complained, among other things.

Meiring opened by using Brown’s alleged words against her – “This isn’t McDonald’s … It’ll get ruled on when it gets ruled on,” Meiring said. “This is not simply a situation of a bad day.

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Judge facing discipline refused to take deposition oath

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Deadline set for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown to respond to petition seeking her removal

Deadline set for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown to respond to petition seeking her removal

September 8, 2013

The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday set a noon Wednesday deadline for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly J. Brown to file a response challenging an emergency petition to remove her from the bench.

The order signed by Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson says the deadline was set because disciplinary rules do not specifically establish a deadline for responses to interim suspension petitions.

The state Commission on Judicial Qualifications last month filed a complaint against Brown alleging 45 counts of misconduct. At the same time, the commission filed an emergency petition seeking her suspension, with pay, pending outcome of a disciplinary case involving the alleged misconduct.

The action to remove a judge before completion of a disciplinary case is an “extraordinary measure,” the court noted when announcing the action against Brown on Aug. 26.

Brown, a Democrat elected in 2008, faces charges that include dereliction of duty, delaying the release of at least nine defendants from jail, failing to train or supervise court employees, creating a hostile environment for staff and attorneys and failing to properly complete paperwork.

A staff member who answered the phone in Brown’s court Friday said that the judge was “unavailable” but could not say whether or not Brown was working. Brown was reported to be on vacation when the charges were filed and it was not clear Friday whether she had returned to the bench.

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Deadline set for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown to respond to petition seeking her removal