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Case Against Huntington Co. Judge Moved to Federal Court

Judge Thomas Hakes is accused of harassment and retaliation by the chief probation officer, Heather Malone.

HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. -- The harassment and retaliation suit against a Huntington County judge will be heard in federal court.

The case against Judge Thomas Hakes by chief probation officer Heather Malone will play out in the U.S. District Court of Northern Indiana. The case had been filed last Tuesday in Huntington County.

Hakes is accused of sending Malone unwanted texts and emails, driving by her home and waiting for her in the courthouse parking lot. Malone claims Hakes, "sought to thwart a pay increase for her and otherwise retaliated" when she refused his advances.

ABC 21 in Fort Wayne says Hakes' legal team has "sought to seal certain exhibits that are part of the case, meaning they would not be accessible by the media or the public". Among items that could be hidden from view are copies of communication between Hakes and Malone and photographs the judge allegedly sent her.

Hakes intends to step down from the bench at the end of the month. Gov. Eric Holcomb will appoint someone to complete Hakes' term sometime in the next few weeks.

(Photo by Hermera Technologies/Thinkstock.)

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