This matter comes before the Court as a result of a judicial disciplinary action brought by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications (“Commission”) against the Respondent herein, Kenneth R. Scheibenberger, Judge of the Allen Superior Court. On August 19, 2007, the Respondent’s son died accidentally, a contributing factor to which was his son’s use of drugs. On November 30, 2007, a criminal defendant, whom the Respondent believed played a tangential or indirect role in his son’s drug use, was to be sentenced in the courtroom of Allen 2 Superior Court Judge Frances C. Gull on a weapons charge. On that day, the Respondent suspended his court session and attended the sentencing hearing in Judge Gull’s courtroom, sitting in the gallery wearing his judicial robe. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, the Respondent moved to the front of the gallery where two deputy prosecutors were standing. In response to a statement the Respondent had heard during the sentencing hearing about the defendant, the Respondent stated to the deputy prosecutors, “Law-abiding citizen, my ass!” or words to that effect, and said that the defendant was a “drug dealer.” The Respondent also turned to three members of the defendant’s family, who were seated in the front row of the gallery, and said “Are you related to that piece of shit? Law-abiding citizen, my ass! He’ll get what’s coming to him” or words to that effect. The Respondent then left the courtroom.
Conclusion (slip op. at 3): The Respondent, Kenneth R. Scheibenberger, Judge of the Allen Superior Court, is hereby suspended from office without pay for a period of three (3) business days, which shall commence on Wednesday, February 11, 2009.
Analysis (slip op. at 2): The Respondent and the Commission agree that his behavior violated Canons 1(A) and 2(A) of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON, SULLIVAN, BOEHM, and RUCKER, JJ., concur.