I-TEAM: Cleveland judge facing discipline for holding hearings at onset of COVID-19 crisis

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr is facing possible discipline for holding court hearings and issuing warrants for people who did not appear in her courtroom at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis and when the court was suppose to be closed.

The Ohio Supreme Court’s disciplinary counsel on Wednesday filed a 21-page complaint against Carr for violating rules of judicial and professional conduct.

A hearing is expected to be held at the beginning of the year. After the hearing, the board will issue a recommendation on whether Carr should be disciplined. It will then be up to the Ohio Supreme Court’s justices to decide if Carr should face sanctions. The court can impose discipline ranging from a public reprimand to disbarment.

Carr held court hearings after Administrative Judge Michelle Earley’s ordered all court hearings to be postponed for defendants to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The judge also issued warrants for those who did not show for the hearings.

On March 18 , the FOX 8 I-Team asked the judge if she issued warrants for defendants who did not appear and she said she did not. The I-Team then checked court records and found that she did issue more than 30 warrants. She then told the I-Team she did not intend to issue the warrants.

We tried to talk to the judge Wednesday to discuss the complaint. We called her, and waited outside her courtroom for more than an hour. She has not yet responded to our request for comment.

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