In re Hon. T. Edward Page

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Justia Opinion Summary

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications brought this judicial disciplinary action against T. Edward Page, Senior Judge (Respondent), asserting that because Respondent was arrested and convicted for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, Respondent violated the Code of Judicial Conduct. Respondent immediately self-reported his misconduct, was compliant with the requests of the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, was cooperative with the Commission throughout its investigation, and was remorseful for his conduct. Respondent and the Commission agreed that, under the circumstances, the appropriate sanction was a public reprimand. The Supreme Court agreed with the parties and reprimanded Respondent.

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ATTORNEY FOR HON. T. EDWARD PAGE, SENIOR JUDGE ATTORNEYS FOR THE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS James H. Voyles Voyles Zahn & Paul Indianapolis, Indiana Adrienne L. Meiring Mary Elizabeth Daulton Indianapolis, Indiana ______________________________________________________________________________ In the Indiana Supreme Court _________________________________ No. 94S00-1701-JD-3 IN THE MATTER OF THE HONORABLE T. EDWARD PAGE, SENIOR JUDGE FILED Feb 20 2017, 3:10 pm CLERK Indiana Supreme Court Court of Appeals and Tax Court _________________________________ JUDICIAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION _________________________________ February 20, 2017 Per Curiam. This matter comes before the Court as a result of a judicial disciplinary action brought by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications (“Commission”) against Respondent herein, T. Edward Page, Senior Judge. Article 7, Section 4 of the Indiana Constitution and Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25 give the Indiana Supreme Court original jurisdiction over this matter. In lieu of Respondent tendering a written response to the charges, the parties jointly tendered a “Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline” in which the parties have stipulated to the following facts. On the night of Saturday, October 1, 2016, a Porter County Sheriff’s Department deputy responded to 911 calls from two different individuals about a southbound vehicle periodically veering into northbound traffic on Indiana State Road 149 in Porter County. The deputy observed a vehicle matching the description provided by one of the 911 callers driving slowly on State Road 149 in the area of C.R. 550 North. After stopping Respondent’s vehicle and approaching Respondent, the deputy noticed an odor of alcohol on Respondent’s breath and person. Respondent’s speech was slurred, his eyes were watery, his manual dexterity was poor, and his balance was unsteady. He failed at least three field sobriety tests, and when he consented to a preliminary breath test, the result was .20 BAC. He then voluntarily gave a blood sample at Valparaiso Medical Center in Lake County. Respondent was arrested and subsequently charged in Porter Superior Court with Class A misdemeanor Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Endangering a Person, Class C misdemeanor Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, and Class A misdemeanor Operating a Vehicle with an Alcohol Concentration Equivalent to .15 or More. On November 15, 2016, he pleaded guilty under a plea agreement to Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor, and the State dismissed the remaining charges. The trial court entered judgment of conviction against on the Cmisdemeanor offense and sentenced Respondent to 60 days in jail, with 59 days suspended and credit for 1 day served in jail. The court also placed Respondent on unsupervised probation for 180 days, imposed an ignition interlock requirement on his driving privileges until December 7, 2016, and imposed fines and court costs of $883.50. Respondent and the Commission agree that by being arrested and convicted for Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated, Respondent violated Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 1.1 requiring judges to comply with the law, and Rule 1.2 requiring judges to avoid impropriety and to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary. The parties cite no facts in aggravation. In mitigation, they agree that Respondent immediately self-reported his misconduct and voluntarily contacted the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP); that he is compliant with all JLAP requests; that he has been fully cooperative with the Commission throughout its investigation; and that he is remorseful for his conduct. They also agree that under the circumstances, the appropriate sanction is a public reprimand. The Court agrees with the parties. Accordingly, T. Edward Page, Senior Judge, is hereby reprimanded. This discipline terminates the disciplinary proceedings relating to the circumstances giving rise to this cause. The costs of this proceeding are assessed against Respondent. All Justices concur.