Cleveland (AP) -- A newspaper says a county judge sent its staff e-mails expressing opinions about the Ohio case of a suspected serial killer that he was later appointed to oversee.
Cuyahoga County common pleas judge Timothy McGinty stepped down from the Anthony Sowell case Thursday.
Editor Susan Goldberg of the Plain Dealer says the judge sent e-mails marked "off the record" that created "an impossible ethical position."
McGinty cites a conflict of interest due to his efforts to change criminal justice practices.
McGinty has criticized police for releasing suspects pending indictment. Sowell was arrested and released without charges in 2008 after a woman alleged he attacked her.
The remains of 11 women were found at his home this fall.
Goldberg says there was no agreement that the e-mails would be off the record.
A message seeking comment was left at McGinty's office Friday morning.
Sowell has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)