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Discipline Charges Filed Against Dunkirk City Court Judge
Updated April 7, 2017 6:08 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) has filed disciplinary charges against Dunkirk City Court Judge Tommy D. Phillips, II.

The JQC alleges one count of misconduct related to a March 2017 conviction for Battery Against a Public Safety Official. Judge Phillips has 20 days to file an answer to the charges.

The 5-page "Notice of the Institution of Formal Proceedings and Statement of Charges" is public record and has been filed with the Appellate Clerk's Office. The charges are brought by the 7-member JQC which investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges--including judges who are not licensed attorneys. Phillips, who is not a lawyer, has been suspended with pay by the Indiana Supreme Court since September 2016 as required by rule when a felony charge is filed against a judge. The JQC charges are separate and distinct charges from any criminal or civil proceedings in the trial court system.

Generally, the JQC disciplinary charges assert Judge Phillips violated judicial canons which require judges to respect the law, avoid impropriety, and promote confidence in the judiciary. Judge Phillips pled guilty in case 38D01-1609-F6-165 to Battery Against a Public Safety Official, a Level 6 felony. The conviction stems from an August 2016 incident where Judge Phillips shoved the Dunkirk Chief of Police following a heated verbal exchange.

The Supreme Court has final authority to determine what, if any, judicial misconduct occurred. The Court can dismiss the charges, accept or reject a disciplinary agreement between the JQC and Judge Phillips, appoint a panel of judges to conduct a public hearing, impose a fine, or impose sanctions ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to a permanent ban on holding judicial office in Indiana. More information about JQC can be found at courts.in.gov/jud-qual.



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