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Former judge arrested for failure to appear in court


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A former judge who failed to show up in court to represent a number of his clients was arrested Monday for not showing up at his own hearing.

Roderick D. McGillivray, who served as Bartholomew County Superior Court 2 judge from 2003 to 2008, was arrested at 4:10 p.m. Monday by deputies from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

McGillivray, 48, of 4065 N. Riverside Drive, was booked into the county jail at 4:32 p.m. on a Bartholomew Circuit Court warrant charging him with failure to appear at a court hearing to show cause, according to both jail and court documents.

Bond was set at $25,000 surety or $2,500 cash. As of midday Tuesday, McGillivray was still in the jail being held in a special unit away from other jail inmates, Sheriff Mark Gorbett said.

According to court records, the attorney was not present May 27 to represent a client, Angel Sanders, during a court hearing.

But the arrest warrant was issued by Circuit Court Judge Stephen Heimann after McGillivray failed to show up for a July 17 hearing for Skyler A. Fields, a Columbus resident originally charged with stealing from the west-side Walmart last summer.

While McGillivray attended a June 9 hearing where Fields pleaded guilty to one count of conversion, he failed to attend subsequent hearings leading up to Fields’ sentencing, court records state.

There were earlier missed hearings, as well. On March 27, Heimann declared McGillivray in contempt of court for what the judge described at the time as “an ongoing problem of missing court hearings.”

While McGillivray claimed he had misread the time for an earlier sentencing hearing, Heimann noted he had made the same claim concerning another hearing in a different court the same day.

After McGillivray said he intended to voluntarily give up his practice within a few months, Heimann said he would not sanction the attorney at that time.

About a week after missing the Fields hearing, McGillivray resigned from the Indiana State Bar Association on July 24, according to an order issued by the Indiana Supreme Court.

In the resignation, McGillivray acknowledged there was a pending investigation into allegations of misconduct that he could not successfully defend himself against if prosecuted.

Although he had surrendered his license to practice law in Indiana, McGillivray was still under a order to appear before Heimann on Aug. 14 to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt of court for missing the two previous hearings.

When he didn’t show up, Heimann issued a warrant for his arrest that was served Monday.

McGillivray’s law license was briefly suspended last summer by the Indiana Supreme Court for failing to meet continuing education requirements.

McGillivray, who resigned last summer as legal counsel for the Bartholomew County Council, is ineligible to petition for reinstatement to the bar for five years, according to an order issued by the Indiana Supreme Court last month.

If he attempts to regain his license to practice law in Indiana, allegations of misconduct admitted in McGillivray’s resignation letter may be addressed, according to the order.

While all disciplinary proceedings before the Indiana Supreme Court have been dismissed, McGillivray’s resignation does not relieve him from any liability he might have for misconduct under civil or criminal law, the order stated.

In April, McGillivray said that after he closed his law practice, he intended to become more involved in a natural supplements company he owns with his wife.

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