Indiana’s high court has permanently banned a former magistrate from holding judicial office following his guilty plea in a drug possession case where he bit an officer’s hand after buying methamphetamine.
The Indiana Supreme Court’s order, issued Friday, also suspends former Hamilton County Magistrate Judge William P. Greenaway’s law license for a 90-day period beginning Jan. 1.
Greenaway was sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty in September to misdemeanor charges of possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice. He was arrested in March 2019 following an Indiana State Police sting operation where authorities said Greenaway purchased 2.5 grams of meth from an undercover informant.
As police surrounded his car following that purchase in a Noblesville parking lot, Greenaway put the bag of meth in his mouth and bit an officer’s hand as the officer tried to pry his mouth open, according to court documents.
Greenaway was a magistrate in central Indiana’s Hamilton County for eight years before he was fired following the incident. A magistrate has similar duties to a judge but is not elected to the position.
Friday’s unanimous order from the state Supreme Court approved a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline between Greenaway and the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
The order states that Greenaway violated several rules of Indiana’s Code of Judicial Conduct, including failing to respect and comply with the law.