(HENDRICKS CO.) – The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against Hendricks Superior Court 1 Judge Robert W. Freese.
The Commission alleges two counts of misconduct related to the judge’s handling of a Trust and a related Estate case. Judge Freese has 20 days to file an answer to the charges.
The 18-page “Notice of the Institution of Formal Proceedings and Statement of Charges” (Case No. 19S-JD-52) is public record and has been filed with the Appellate Clerk’s Office. The charges are brought by the 7-member Commission which investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges.
Generally, the charges allege Judge Freese failed to disclose to the parties in a case a potential conflict of interest before appointing a Trustee to their case. The Commission also alleges the judge did not act promptly and diligently when notified the Trustee did not comply with court orders and failed to perform his fiduciary responsibilities.
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 Commission and Judge Freese, 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 the Commission can be found at courts.in.gov/jud-qual or directed to Kathryn Dolan or to Judge Freese’s attorney, James Bell at 317-550-1855.