Judicial Misconduct: An ABC57News Follow-up

Judicial Misconduct: An ABC57News Follow-up

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- A Michiana woman is now formally contesting the will of a late multi-millionaire and accusing a sitting St. Joseph County Probate Court Judge and a well-known South Bend estate attorney of legal malpractice and negligence.

ABC57News first told you about 83-year-old Russell Cartwright in November 2023, one month after he passed away. Cartwright was a Harvard Law School graduate who suffered from multiple documented mental illnesses, but he also left behind an estimated $8 million estate.

Celeste Roche' was Cartwright's longtime caregiver and friend. She was set to inherit 1,111 shares of PepsiCo stock from Cartwright, but the will was changed by Cartwright's attorney Christopher Potts and St. Joseph County Probate Court Judge Jason Cichowicz making the judge himself, and his family, the sole beneficiaries of bank accounts, trusts and property owned by his former legal client.

Attorney Christopher Potts declined to comment on the allegations when contacted by ABC57News. The attorney representing Judge Jason Cichowicz told ABC57News in a statement: "This lawsuit is an effort by a disgruntled acquaintance to leverage a monetary settlement. It will be addressed accordingly."

Watch ABC57's Exclusive Investigation: Judicial Misconduct and read the lawsuit challenging Russell Cartwright's will below. 

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