On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, Cleveland.com reported that former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr is facing criminal charges for allegedly falsifying journal entries in cases she presided over. The Ohio Attorney General’s office charged her with three counts of falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation charged Carr with three counts of falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor. These charges are related to allegations of falsification in her journal entries during her time on the bench. Carr faces these charges in the very court where she served as a judge for over a decade. It’s worth noting that the Ohio Supreme Court removed her from office last fall due to multiple misconduct allegations.

In a report by the AbusiveDiscretion, it stated that on October 18, 2022, the Supreme Court of Ohio suspended Carr from the practice of law for two years, and was immediately removed from judicial office without pay. This is in relation to Carr’s misconduct wherein Carr forced parties to show up in person for court proceedings while there is still a COVID-19 shutdown. It was also alleged that Carr sent someone to jail for 15 days after the defendant apparently rolled their eyes in court and cursed in lockup.

Moreover, the state’s board of professional conduct discovered that Carr routinely engaged in plea negotiations with defendants while prosecutors were absent from the courtroom. She then proceeded to file journal entries falsely indicating that prosecutors had amended the charges, which the board deemed a potential first-degree misdemeanor of falsification. These actions raised serious concerns about Carr’s conduct as a judge and her adherence to proper legal procedures.

According to Steve Irwin, Yost’s spokesman, the charges revolve around Carr’s filing of journal entries that did not accurately reflect the actual proceedings in her court. The offenses, as mentioned in court records, occurred on May 21, 2019, and two dates in June 2020. The court records reveal that Carr presided over arraignments and amended charges against defendants on three separate occasions without the presence of a city of Cleveland prosecutor. Following these proceedings, Carr allegedly made a false statement by filing papers in which she checked a box indicating that the “prosecutor amends charge.” This suggests a lack of adherence to proper legal procedures and raises concerns about the integrity of the court’s record-keeping during her tenure.

Furthermore, the Ohio Supreme Court found that Carr operated what they described as a “modern-day debtor’s prison,” issuing arrest warrants to individuals who failed to pay fines, essentially using these warrants as a means to generate revenue for the court. Additionally, the court held that Carr exhibited inappropriate behavior by making derogatory remarks toward her staff, attorneys, and members of the public appearing in court.

In May 2019, during the arraignment, Carr deviated from the proceedings to ridicule a defendant who was accused of possessing an open container stating, “Let’s see what kind of taste Mr. Jerry has,” court documents quoted Carr as saying. “That way I know how much I gonna need to fine him. Let’s see. Is Milwaukee Best? I guess Mr. Jerry doesn’t have too much money, then. How long is it gonna take you to come up with $25, Mr. Jerry?”

 

Source: Cleveland.com