Tough punishment recommended for Cleveland judge by state disciplinary attorneys: I-Team

I-Team

**Watch a previous report on Judge Pinkey Carr in the video above.**

CLEVELAND (WJW) – State disciplinary attorneys are recommending the Board of Professional Conduct and Ohio Supreme Court to suspend a Cleveland Municipal judge for two years for several alleged violations, including ignoring a directive in March of 2020 to stop holding hearings because of the pandemic.

Officials with the Ohio Supreme Court Disciplinary Counsel accuse Judge Pinkey Carr of violating multiple rules of professional conduct, including not wearing proper attire on the bench, holding hearings without a prosecutor or defense attorney present, making jokes and berating defendants, and filing fictitious paperwork with the court.

A hearing was recently held on the matter.

On Friday, both sides filed briefs with the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct with recommendations on her discipline.

Judge Carr’s attorney is asking for a “two year suspension from the practice of law, fully stayed” meaning she can continue to practice law as long as she has “full and complete compliance with her mental health regimen” and gets additional hours of continuing legal education in the area of professionalism.

State disciplinary attorneys, however, disagree, saying she should be suspended and no stay granted.

“When the panel considers respondent’s additional misconduct, including the illegal and coercive tactics that she employed to collect fines and costs; her pervasive dishonesty; her rude and intemperate treatment of staff, litigants, and lawyers; her lack of impartiality; and her blatant disregard for the law, there is simply no justification for a sanction of less than two years and no justification for a stayed suspension,” the brief filed by the Ohio disciplinary attorneys states.

On March 18, 2020, 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.

The state disciplinary attorneys referred to the FOX 8 I-Team interview in their brief, saying Judge Carr  “abused her authority by issuing arrest warrants for unsuspecting defendants who had been instructed not to appear in court. Rather than admit her misdeeds, respondent consented to a FOX 8 News interview and proceeded to calmly and blatantly lie about issuing warrants for people who did not appear in court. In fact, immediately after the interview, respondent issued 20 additional warrants for people who had not appeared.“

It is not known when the Board of Professional Conduct will review the case and decide what if any discipline the judge should face.

The I-TEAM reached out to Judge Carr Saturday to discuss the matter and she said on advice of counsel she cannot comment.

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