INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana Supreme Court investigation is ongoing into allegations of judicial misconduct by one of two Clark County judges shot in May.

Kathryn Dolan, chief public information officer for the Indiana Supreme Court, disclosed Wednesday that the court's Judicial Qualifications Commission has an ongoing investigation into the shooting of Clark County judges Andrew Adams and Brad Jacobs in Indianapolis May 1. Earlier this week, Adams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for battery related to the incident.

Indianapolis police responded around 3:30 a.m. May 1 to a White Castle parking lot in downtown Indianapolis, where the judges were found with gunshot wounds. Both underwent multiple surgeries in local hospitals and Jacobs, facing no charges, returned to the bench in July after his recovery. Senior Judge Steven Fleece remains the appointed Pro Tempore judge in Adams' court.

Two suspects — Alfredo Vazquez and Brandon Kaiser — were arrested May 5 in relation to the shooting, but were released within days after Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced more information was needed for formal charges.

On June 28, grand jury indictments were filed for Vazquez, Kaiser and Adams. Adams originally faced two felonies and five misdemeanors for battery and disorderly conduct for a physical altercation leading up to the shooting. He was sentenced to 365 days for the misdemeanor he pleaded guilty to this week, with all time suspended.

The same day the indictments were filed, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an order suspending Adams from the bench with pay, pending the case.

In an email, Dolan confirmed that Adams remains suspended and that by law, investigations by the Supreme Court are typically kept confidential, until which time the Judicial Qualifications Commission may file discipline charges to prosecute a case.

In this instance, however, Dolan said the commission is exercising the exception to that rule, which "provides that the commission may disclose the existence of an investigation to assure that the proper administration of justice is being safeguarded," according to the email. "Given the public exposure of the incident and Judge Andrew Adams’ September 9, 2019 guilty plea, the commission is taking the rare step to disclose that an investigation into the incident is ongoing."

She added that while specifics of the investigation will not be disclosed unless charges are filed, "the commission is taking the necessary steps to conduct a proper, speedy, and appropriate disposition of this matter."

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.

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