Ohio Supreme Court holds ex-Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr in contempt over

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has held former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr in contempt for missing a deadline to submit a court filing.

The high court’s justices in October indefinitely suspended Carr without pay for committing an “unprecedented” level of misconduct spanning two years. She had until Nov. 17 to submit an affidavit that said she was abiding by the suspension.

Then-Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor on Dec. 8 ordered Carr to file a response to convince her not to hold Carr in contempt after Carr did not file the affidavit.

Carr wrote in a pro se filing submitted Dec. 19 that she turned in her attorney registration card to the court’s clerk’s office on Nov. 22. She also attested that she had no clients or opposing counsel to notify of her suspension because she had been on the bench for the past decade.

In a one-sentence order handed down Thursday, Chief Justice Sharon Kennedy found Carr in contempt.

An Ohio Supreme Court spokeswoman said that Carr’s filing did not comply with the court’s order because it was not a sworn affidavit.

The holding does not put Carr in jeopardy of sanctions including fines or jail time. The spokeswoman said that Carr cannot have her law license reinstated until she files an affidavit that complies with the order.

Carr could not be reached for comment.

Carr was a city of Cleveland assistant law director and an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor before she won a seat on the municipal court bench in 2011.

The disciplinary probe into Carr began at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, when she held hearings despite the court announcing it would not have any. Carr then issued arrest warrants for people who did not show up and falsely denied in the press and to Administrative Judge Michelle Earley that she issued arrest warrants.

The investigation into Carr then stretched back to her behavior over the prior two years, and it found she was jailing people to get them to pay fines and raise money for the court in what the Supreme Court held was “essentially…a modern-day debtors’ prison.”

Carr also took the bench in workout clothing and made inappropriate comments and jokes about her staff, attorneys and defendants, the court found.

Carr formally resigned from her seat on Dec. 9. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will appoint Carr’s successor. Retired Lakewood Municipal Court Judge Patrick Carroll is filling in for Carr on the bench.

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