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Dec. 19, 2003
Board of Commissioners Issues Statement Regarding Judges' Service on Community Corrections Boards

The following statement was issued today by Richard Alkire, chairman of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline:

Advisory Opinion 2003-9 issued by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline on Dec.5, 2003, is a nonbinding advisory opinion addressing whether it is proper under the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct for judges to serve on judicial corrections boards.

The Board advised that it is not proper under Canon 4(C)(2), Canon 2(B) and Canon 2(A) of the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct. However, judges currently serving on judicial corrections boards for community based correctional facilities pursuant to statutory appointments should not resign from these duties at this time.

Related and relevant issues are undergoing consideration by other entities. The Office of the Attorney General has under its review a request for an opinion as to whether such service on judicial corrections boards violates the Ohio Constitution. The Ohio Judicial Conference is reviewing the issue and may consider whether to propose statutory changes to the legislature and or rule changes to the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Due to ongoing review of the issues and the negative impact that would occur due to mass resignation of judges from judicial corrections boards, the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline advises that judges may continue to serve on such boards at this time. This serves the public interest in ensuring ongoing operation of important community based correctional facilities and programs.

Contact: Chris Davey at 614.387.9250