UPDATE: Ex-magistrate banned from judicial service
December 8, 2020 | Republished by LIT: 16 Feb 2021
By The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s high court has permanently banned a former magistrate from holding judicial office following his guilty plea in a drug possession case where he bit an officer’s hand after buying methamphetamine.
The Indiana Supreme Court’s order, issued Friday, also suspends former Hamilton County Magistrate Judge William P. Greenaway’s law license for a 90-day period beginning Jan. 1.
Greenaway was sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty in September to misdemeanor charges of possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice. He was arrested in March 2019 following an Indiana State Police sting operation where authorities said Greenaway purchased 2.5 grams of meth from an undercover informant.
As police surrounded his car following that purchase in a Noblesville parking lot, Greenaway put the bag of meth in his mouth and bit an officer’s hand as the officer tried to pry his mouth open, according to court documents.
Greenaway was a magistrate in central Indiana’s Hamilton County for eight years before he was fired following the incident. A magistrate has similar duties to a judge but is not elected to the position.
Friday’s unanimous order from the state Supreme Court approved a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline between Greenaway and the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
The order states that Greenaway violated several rules of Indiana’s Code of Judicial Conduct, including failing to respect and comply with the law.
Ex-Hamilton County magistrate facing judicial misconduct charges
Originally Published: Oct 9, 2020 | LIT Republished: Oct 10, 2020
HAMILTON CO. — A state panel has formally disciplined a former Hamilton County magistrate who bought drugs from an undercover informant and swallowed a bag in an attempt to hide evidence.
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed disciplinary charges Friday against former Hamilton Superior Court Magistrate William Paul Greenaway.
The Commission alleges two counts of misconduct related to 2019 criminal activity, including a conviction for methamphetamine possession and resisting law enforcement.
The seven-member commission investigates allegations of ethical misconduct by judges.
At the time of his arrest, Greenaway was employed as an appointed magistrate of Hamilton Superior Court.
The judges of the Hamilton County courts terminated Greenaway in March 2019 due to the arrest.
The Supreme Court has final authority to determine what, if any, judicial misconduct occurred and can dismiss the charges, accept or reject a disciplinary agreement between the Commission and Greenaway.
The Supreme Court can also 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.
WRTV reported in March 2019 that the Indiana Supreme Court suspended Greenaway.
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed disciplinary charges following Greenaway’s sentencing on September 24, in which he received a year probation.
Greenaway has 20 days to answer the misconduct charges.
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against former Hamilton Superior Court Magistrate William Paul Greenaway. The Commission alleges two counts of misconduct related to criminal activity in his personal life when he was employed as a judicial officer. Mr. Greenaway has 20 days to file an answer to the charges.
The 14-page “Notice of the Institution of Formal Proceedings and Statement of Charges” (Case No. 19S-JD-165) 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.
The Commission charges that Greenaway was arrested and convicted of possession of methamphetamine and resisting law enforcement. The March 2019 arrest (during a controlled drug buy in Noblesville) included Greenaway attempting to hide evidence by swallowing a bag of methamphetamine. At the time of his arrest, Greenaway was employed as an appointed magistrate of Hamilton Superior Court. He was terminated by the judges of the Hamilton County courts in March 2019 due to the arrest. On September 24, 2020, Greenaway was sentenced in Hamilton Superior Court 5 (Case No. 29D05-1903-F6-002149) by a special judge.
It is standard for a criminal matter to be adjudicated before the Commission takes formal action. With Greenaway’s criminal matter resolved, the Commission asserts these disciplinary charges.
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 Greenaway, 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.
Legal rats in 2020. They’ve been growing for a long, long time in Texas. Just read the timeline and story of Bishop below. A Saint he ain’t. What’s confusing is that there was zero need for his behavior. https://t.co/SjQeEZOn5a pic.twitter.com/7VA7Wp1ZGM
— LawsInTexas (@lawsintexasusa) October 8, 2020