10TV sues for courtroom access after Franklin County judge charged with drunk driving


Friday was the first day 10TV was allowed to bring a camera into the courtroom of a Franklin County judge who had been arrested for drunk driving.

Pickerington Police arrested Domestic Relations Judge Monica Hawkins on the night of Jan. 31 on an OVI charge. That arrest was caught on police cruiser video.

Officers say Hawkins failed field sobriety tests, smelled of alcohol, and vomit was found on the floorboard of her car.

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Hawkins refused a breathalyzer test, but police obtained a court order to draw her blood.

Those test results are not yet known, and Hawkins is due in Fairfield County Court next Thursday.

Hawkins' attorney says before her arrest, she suffered multiple injuries, including a concussion.

He says they are investigating what happened because she doesn't remember much of the night.

As of Monday, Hawkins was back on the bench.

Every day this week, 10TV has asked Hawkins to allow a camera in her courtroom. Each request had been denied.

Friday, cameras were allowed in after attorneys for 10TV filed a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court accusing Hawkins of improperly denying access to a public courtroom "to shield herself from being photographed."

Her attorneys have until Tuesday to file a response with the Supreme Court.