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Gavel and Scales of Justice

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. — Seven charges are filled against a St. Joseph County Probate Judge Jason Cichowicz for misconduct.

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed the charges, and say that they come from a conflict of interest and improper dealing with a charitable trust.

Two charges are from when Judge Cichowicz was an attorney. The Commission says he violated the Rules of Professional Conduct when he had a conflict of interest representing a client.

Then, the other five charges come from Cichowicz’s misconduct while he was a judge.

Judge Cichowicz continued to act as a trustee to a charitable organization that donated funds for improvements to the courts, some improvements were made by Judge Cichowicz’s father. The donations were made in a way so the public would not know where they came from.

The Commission said that, “after Cichowicz was elected judge, he violated judicial canons that require judges to respect the law, avoid impropriety, promote public confidence in the judiciary, and avoid abusing the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of another.”

Now that the disciplinary charges have been filed, Indiana’s Supreme Court will determine if any judicial misconduct occurred. They can either dismiss the charges, or give a punishment ranging from fines to banning Judge Cichowicz from holding judicial office in the state.