► Attorney Benjamin Pfaff of Elkhart, IN; scofflaw; Tony Soprano Wannabee Print E-mail
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Attorney Benjamin Pfaff of Elkhart, IN; scofflaw; Tony Soprano Wannabee, ethically indigent

 
Prior to early 2005, attorney Benjamin Pfaff was a sitting judge in Elkhart, Indiana. In November 2005, Benjamin Pfaff resigned his judgeship after the Indiana Judicial Commission charged him with the misconduct set forth below.
 
On Dec. 7, 2003, Benjamin Pfaff’s 15-year-old daughter left home where she lived with Ben’s ex-wife. Pfaff and his ex searched for her for over 24-hours. The search included an incident where Judge Pfaff burst into a home (criminal trespassing) where he believed his daughter could be found, shouting accusations of wrongdoing at the occupants.
 
Later that evening Judge Pfaff was told that his daughter could be found at a home occupied by Ashley Snodgrass. Ashley’s fiancé Shawn Flores, age 21, 18 year-old Bryan Schlitz and two other males were at Ashley’s home at the time.
 
Ashley allowed her home to be searched to satisfy Judge Pfaff that his daughter wasn’t there and promised to call him if she was located. A little later, Ashley called Judge Pfaff and told him his daughter was coming to her home. He then returned to Ashley’s home and immediately confronted Bryan Schlitz about his daughter’s whereabouts.
 
Judge Pfaff then forcibly grabbed and restrained Schlitz (assault) and pointed a loaded handgun at his head for 3 to 4 minutes, and then said to him, “If this Mother Fucker doesn’t start talking he’s going to die” (felony) or words to that effect. 
Bryan Schlitz’s Comments to WNDU-TV 16
 
On Dec. 16, 2003, Bryan told reporter Robert Borrelli:
  • “He had a .38. He pulled it out and stuck it to my forehead and told me if I didn’t start talking I was going to die.”
  • “I was scared at first because I knew he was a judge [smart move Bryan] and I knew how much power he had and I didn’t know if he could turn the whole story around on me and get me into trouble for something I didn’t do.”
Ben the Humanitarian
 
Bryan Schlitz told reporter Robert Borrelli that after the incident was over that, Judge Pfaff offered to buy him and his roommates a case of beer for the inconvenience. Schlitz says they never got the beer.
Ben’s Perjury
 
The investigators ruled that Judge Pfaff had been untruthful (perjured himself) when he provided a vastly different (fabricated) version to the Special Prosecutor assigned to investigate the matter and to the Judicial Commission during its investigation of his conduct. As expected, Ben was never criminally charged for committing perjury.
Ben’s resignation
 
Two days after Judge Pfaff had been informed that the judicial commission had recommended that he be removed from the bench, he resigned. In his resignation letter, Ben had the temerity to say that “he regrets that his actions off the bench have dishonored the office and system he values so highly.” What honor? What values? If Judge Pfaff really valued the legal system, then why did he treat the citizens of Elkhart to a rerun of an episode of “The Sopranos?”
Enabling Special Prosecutor
 
Whitley County, Indiana prosecutor Matt Rentschler was appointed special prosecutor to investigate Ben’s criminal conduct. Unbelievably, (maybe we shouldn’t be surprised) Rentschler declared that Ben was justified in his actions and no criminal charges were lodged against him.
 
How in the hell can you be justified in (a) pointing a loaded gun at someone’s head, (b) threaten to kill someone, (c) assault someone, (d) give perjured testimony, and (e) forcibly enter an occupied residence? I guess Rentschler calls it “different strokes (justice) for different folks (judges)” – if ya know what I mean.
 
Attorney Benjamin Pfaff’s current status
 
In 2006, the Indiana Supreme Court had the audacity to reinstate Ben’s license to practice law. The only act Ben was required to take was to pay the costs of the disciplinary action, which was $12,106.75.
 
They did so despite their findings in 2005 that he was guilty of (a) perjury, (b) obstruction of justice, (c) showed no remorse for his criminal conduct, and (d) illegally entered Ms. Snodgrass’s home (criminal trespass).
 
With his license to steal in hand, I’m sure that Ol’ Ben has recouped the $12,106.75 by fleecing some unwitting victims well before this writing.
 
I suppose it wouldn’t have been fair if the Indiana Supreme Court would have permanently disbarred Ol’ Ben. After all, even a pugilistic despot (Tony Soprano Wannabee) like Ben has the right to earn a dishonest living by victimizing the good citizens in the Elkhart and Goshen, Indiana areas, right?
 
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