State board recommends two-year suspension for Cleveland Judge Pinkey Carr

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(Previous coverage of this story in the video player above).

CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team learned Cleveland Municipal Judge Pinkey Carr has moved a step closer to being disciplined.

The Ohio Office of Disciplinary Counsel and Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recommended Friday that Carr be immediately removed as a judge and suspended from the practice of law for two years. The state supreme court will now review the board’s findings and issue a final decision.

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.

It is not known when the supreme court will rule on the matter.

The Board of Professional Conduct’s director, Richard Dove, wrote a 58-page recommendation, stating Carr, after nine years on the bench, “Has come to regard her courtroom as her private domain.” The recommendation further stated Carr’s courtroom was more, “Akin to a circus than court of law.”

The judge is accused of several violations, including ignoring a directive in March 2020 to stop holding hearings because of the pandemic.

Officials with the Disciplinary Counsel also accuse 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.

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 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.“

The I-Team reached out to Carr Friday and she referred us to her attorney.  We left a message with her attorney, but have not yet heard back.

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