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Supreme Court of Indiana
September 24, 1999, Decided
CASE NO. 18S00-9801-DI-62
[*426] DISCIPLINARY ACTION
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, in a Verified Complaint for Disciplinary Action, charged Richard W. Reed with making statements about the qualifications of a judge with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity of the statements, in violation of Ind.Professional Conduct Rule 8.2(a). Pursuant to Ind.Admission and Discipline Rule 23(11)(c), the commission and the respondent tendered for this Court's approval a Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline wherein they stipulate the facts and agree that the appropriate discipline for the respondent is a public reprimand. In addition, the respondent has submitted to this Court an affidavit as required by Admis.Disc.R.23(11)(c). Upon review, a majority of this Court has decided to approve the agreement and impose a public reprimand.
[**2] We find, as the parties have agreed, that Richard W. Reed is an attorney in good standing in the State of Indiana, having been admitted to the Indiana Bar on October 9, 1974. At all times relevant to this case, the respondent was, and currently still is, the duly elected prosecuting attorney of Delaware County, Indiana. In January of 1996, the Honorable Barbara Gasper Hines was the judge of the Delaware Superior Court No. 3, having been appointed to that position on September 1, 1995, by the Governor of Indiana to fill the vacancy in that court created by the retirement of the former judge. Prior to her assuming the bench, the Delaware County judges referred all welfare-related child support cases (Title IV-D) to be heard by a commissioner. On January 9, 1996, Judge Hines announced that she would begin presiding over the Title IV-D cases [*427] filed in her court rather than referring them to the commissioner. As Prosecuting Attorney, the respondent was responsible for providing legal representation to the State of Indiana in such cases.
The respondent strongly disagreed with Judge Hines's decision to hear the Title IV-D cases, and, on January 10, 1996, expressed his disagreement to Judge [**3] Hines in the presence of others. Thereafter, the respondent gave a press interview to reporters from The Muncie Evening Press and The Muncie Star. During the interview, the respondent made a number of disparaging statements about the qualifications and integrity of Judge Hines which statements were reported verbatim in newspaper articles that appeared in the local press within days of the interview. Following are excerpted portions of the news articles quoting the respondent:
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716 N.E.2d 426 *; 1999 Ind. LEXIS 806 **
IN THE MATTER OF RICHARD W. REED
Disposition: [**1] Conditional Agreement for Discipline tendered by the parties should be approved.
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