Cleveland judge suspended indefinitely for ‘unprecedented’ incidents of misconduct

Cleveland Municipal Court

(CLEVELAND, Ohio) — The Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion removing a Cleveland Municipal Court judge from the bench, citing multiple “unprecedented” incidents of misconduct.

In a 5-2 vote on Tuesday, the justices voted to indefinitely suspend Judge Pinkey S. Carr’s law license, precluding her from being a judge.

The justices agreed with the court’s Board of Professional Conduct that Carr “ruled her courtroom in a reckless and cavalier manner, unrestrained by the law or the court’s rules.”

Carr, who had been a judge since 2012, was suspended without pay.

According to the board, Carr did not reschedule her cases when the municipal court was closed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and issued warrants for defendants who didn’t show up to court and waived court costs and fines for defendants who did appear.

She regularly conducted hearings to “avoid complying with the requisite procedural safeguards” that were in place and referenced the Starz show “P-Valley” which is about a strip club in Mississippi, while in court, according to the justices.

The joked about accepting bribes from defendants and spoke in an “undignified manner in her courtroom,” according to the court.

She also allegedly wore clothes deemed inappropriate by the court’s rules, including T-shirts, shorts, tank tops and sneakers.

According to the justices, Carr, through a forensic and clinical psychologist who evaluated her, said that menopause and sleep apnea exasperated her mental health issues, which caused her professional misconduct.

Rich Koblentz, Carr’s attorney, told ABC News they respect the court, but they’re not pleased about the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision.

“We believe the sanctions were too harsh,” he said.

Short of disbarment, an indefinite suspension is one of the harsher penalties that the Ohio Supreme Court could deliver, according to Koblentz.

Carr must wait two years before applying for readmission to practice law in Ohio since readmission isn’t automatic after an indefinite suspension.

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