The Indiana Supreme Court has reprimanded Knox Superior Court Judge Ryan Johanningsmeier for Judicial Misconduct.
The Vincennes Sun Commercial (www.suncommercial.com) reports the ruling came earlier this month and found the judge’s misconduct was a result of his quote “his actions in, and failure to recuse from, a close friend’s traffic infraction case.
The reprimand is public and Johanningsmeier will have to pay the court costs associated with the court’s action.
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed disciplinary charges against the Judge in June giving him 20 days to file an answer but on that same day, the judge and commission agreed to the public reprimand.
The case dates back three years ago in which the Commission says Judge Johanningsmeier is close friends with a person identified in documents at “B.K” who got a speeding ticket in April 2015, and two months later failed to appear in court after vacationing with the Judge. A default judgment was issued and his license suspended.
In June of 2015, B.K. filed a petition for a new trial on the ticket and Johanningsmeier granted the motion and reinstated the driver’s license without giving the prosecutor a chance to respond or disclose the Judge’s conflict of interest. The newspaper reports the commission gave the Judge a private caution letter but the he remained on the case and a hearing was never set.