GIBSON CO., Ind. (WEHT) – The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against Gibson Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey F. Meade.

A news release says the Commission alleges four counts of misconduct related to the handling of specific paternity and Child in Need of Services (CHINS) cases. Judge Meade is permitted (but not required) to file an answer to the charges within 20 days.

Officials say the 11-page “Notice of the Institution of Formal Proceedings and Statement of Charges” is public record and has been filed with the Appellate Clerk’s Office. The charges are brought by the seven-member Commission, which investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges.

The news release says the Commission charges Judge Meade violated judicial canons, which require judges to respect the law, avoid impropriety, and promote confidence in the judiciary. Authorities say of the four counts, one is related to Judge Meade’s demeanor in proceedings of a juvenile paternity case. Officials say the remaining three charges are associated with his actions during an off-the-record hearing in CHINS cases.

Officials say the Supreme Court can dismiss the charges, accept or reject a disciplinary agreement between the Commission and Judge Meade, appoint a panel of judges to conduct a public hearing, impose a fine, or impose sanctions ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to a permanent ban on holding judicial office in Indiana.

We reached out to Judge Meade’s office for comment, but officials had no comment to give.

More information about the Commission can be found here.