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Panel: Judge facing 45 misconduct charges should be suspended

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- An Indiana judge facing 45 counts of alleged misconduct should be suspended with pay, the state's judicial qualifications commission has recommended.

The commission said the recommendation against Marion Superior Court Judge Kimberly J. Brown was an "extraordinary measure" that had been taken only once since 2009, the Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.

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In a petition to the Indiana Supreme Court, the commission said since 2009 Brown "has engaged in a continuing course of conduct, which has led to multiple defendants being wrongfully deprived of their liberty, multiple defendants being denied the right to be heard in a timely fashion, and numerous individuals suffering other detrimental consequences."

The high court will decide if Brown is guilty of the charges and, if so, her punishment, which could include removal from office.

Among the allegations, Brown is said to have failed to complete paperwork in a timely manner, resulting in at least nine defendants being held in jail beyond their scheduled release dates. In one case, a defendant's release was delayed for nearly three weeks.

She also is accused of firing an employee she believed had filed a complaint against her.

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Brown was elected in 2008.

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