Judge facing suspension for sexual harassment resigns from Ohio Court of Appeals

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A Franklin County Appeals Court Judge accused of sexual harassment is stepping down.

In December, the Ohio Supreme Court Board of Professional Conduct found Judge Tim Horton had abused his power and sexually harassed two women in his office.

The Board recommended an indefinite suspension of his law license.

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Monday Horton's attorneys filed a response, saying Horton will leave the bench effective February 28, 2019.

They argued the Board was wrong in its findings and recommendation and asked the Supreme Court to continue to allow him to practice law.

In its strongly-worded ruling, the Board of Professional Conduct found Horton repeatedly violated the Codes of Professional and Judicial Conduct.

Along with violating campaign finance laws and misusing county employees to work on his campaign, the Board finds he "abused his position of authority" and "engaged in sexual harassment."

"His conduct was predatory when he engaged in inappropriate sexual discussions with his employees and former employees of the court," the panel wrote.

"The crucial factor was the control and power that (he) possessed over his employees, whether or not he was in the workplace."

The panel called the testimony of the women "credible. They had nothing to gain but much to lose," by coming forward.

The panel said, they "believed little of (Horton's) testimony."

They added, "(Horton's) conduct demeans the public's trust in the legal system."

Horton’s attorneys said the Board’s recommendation was “unduly harsh” and not supported by precedent.

They asked, instead, for the Ohio Supreme Court to impose a penalty “no greater than a suspension fully stayed on the conditions outlined by the Board.”

The Ohio Supreme Court will have the final say on Horton’s case later this year.

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