Fort Wayne Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer and Attorney Blog

Hamilton County Magistrate Judge Permanently Banned from Bench

By Jack H. FarnbauchJanuary 20, 2021

Indiana Supreme Court passed judgment on a former Hamilton County Magistrate Judge who purchased meth from an informant in a sting operation then bit the thumb of an officer who tried to stop the jurist from swallowing the evidence. Judge William P. Greenaway has been barred from holding judicial office but may continue to conditionally practice law after a 90-day suspension. Greenaway is permanently banned from judicial service and suspended from the practice of law for one year, beginning January 15, 2021. He “must comply with treatment as determined and monitored by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program” and “commit no violation of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct during his probation.”

According to a probable cause affidavit, Greenaway bought about $140 worth of meth in November 2018 in a Goodwill parking lot in Noblesville. As a state police officer identified himself and yelled for Greenaway to put his hands up, he “witnessed Greenaway place a plastic baggie that (an ISP detective) recognized and knew was methamphetamine in his mouth”, the affidavit says. The detective “pushed his right thumb into Greenaway’s mouth trying to pry it open. This technique worked for a short time, until Greenaway used his teeth to bite down hard” onto the detective’s thumb, forcing him to remove it “to prevent further injury to his thumb. Suddenly, Greenaway opened his mouth and began to comply,” having swallowed the baggie.

After he was transported to Riverview Hospital, the affidavit says Greenaway told an ISP sergeant, “I have been set up.” Asked why he swallowed the package, the affidavit says Greenaway told investigators, “I panicked. I knew what it was and the guy said ‘State Police,’ and I said what the f— do I do and I swallowed the damn stuff so whatever it was, it’s in me now.”

The judicial discipline case is In the Matter of William Paul Greenaway, 19S-JD-165.

Read more about the case.