Judge's cases under review after relatives cite severe alcoholism in guardianship petition

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Ohio’s public defender is planning a review of as many as 2,700 cases overseen by a retired judge after the judge’s daughter and mother filed a petition for guardianship alleging advanced alcoholism that was a problem when he was still on the bench.

The office plans to review cases overseen by Judge William Marshall of Scioto County that involved prison time or court supervision during the 15 years he was on the bench, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The guardianship petition alleged that Marshall sometimes showed up for work as a judge while under the influence and sometimes missed work altogether, the Enquirer previously reported.

Marshall retired last year. Soon afterward, the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recommended he be suspended for six months for trying to get traffic charges dropped against his daughter, the Portsmouth Daily Times previously reported. The Ohio Supreme Court accepted the recommendation in March.

He was previously reprimanded in 2015 for driving while intoxicated.

Ohio Public Defender Tim Young told the Enquirer that a severe alcoholic likely works while under the influence. A judge who did that could be open to manipulation by people who are aware of the problem and threaten disclosure, he said.

Young said he would work with Case Western University law professor Michael Benza and some of his students to review the cases.

Marshall’s name also surfaced in prior Cincinnati Enquirer reports about an alleged sex trafficking ring in southern Ohio that is now under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. An August 2015 federal wiretap affidavit referred to a defense lawyer said to be operating the ring and an unnamed judge said to be an associate of the defense lawyer.

Three women told the Enquirer that Marshall is the judge. Marshall denied any involvement with the lawyer, other than on a professional basis, and said he had nothing to do with prostitutes.

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