JEFFERSONVILLE — A special judge will be assigned to preside over recount proceedings for the Charlestown mayoral race, after Senior Judge Steven Fleece recused himself from the case.
Current Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall filed a recount petition last week against Mayor-elect Treva Hodges, who defeated him by 32 votes, 30 from the election day tally and two more when provisional votes were counted.
Fleece issued an order today recusing himself, his reasoning listed that he intends to retire as a judicial officer sometime during the 2020 presidential election year and return to private citizenship. Due to this, Fleece stated in his order that he wants to avoid any appearance of bias.
"If the judge were now to decide against the mayoral candidate of political party whose candidate for president he were later to publicly oppose as a private citizen, adherents of that party might conclude, in hindsight, that the judge had ruled against their mayoral candidate out of partisan prejudice," the order states, in part.
Fleece has been serving as Pro Tempore judge in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 since his appointment there by the Indiana Supreme Court in May. He is expected to be relieved of his duties in that court when the elected Judge, Andrew Adams, returns to the bench in January.
A special judge has not yet been assigned to the recount case.