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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Frisbie Enters guilty plea

Saturday, August 30, 2008

(Photo)
INDIANAPOLIS -- A quiet Mark Frisbie entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court Friday to a felony charge of federal program theft.

Frisbie, who was elected to two terms as sheriff of Putnam County and resigned his position on Aug. 15, is accused of stealing over $12,000 from the department he served.

Judge Larry McKinney set Frisbie's sentencing for Nov. 13 at 10:15 a.m. Frisbie could receive up to 10 years in prison or a $250,000 fine.

McKinney read Frisbie's charge to him, and asked if he understood.

"Yes, sir," Frisbie said.

After Frisbie entered his guilty plea, McKinney asked Frisbie if he understood that by pleading guilty, Frisbie was waiving his right to a jury trial.

Frisbie replied that he understood.

Frisbie was released on his own recognizance. He will have to report to the court regularly by phone, Frisbie's attorney Robert Hammerle said. It was also stipulated that Frisbie cannot be in possession of any firearms or controlled substances, and that he is not permitted to use alcohol excessively.

"These are terms they would use when dealing with anyone," Hammerle said. "They are not specific to this case. There are put in place as a safety measure for cases like this, where someone's life has been ripped out from under them."

When federal officials brought up the alcohol use issue, Hammerle told McKinney he was "disappointed."

"I thought that was an issue that was going to be dealt with privately," he said.

None of Frisbie's family members were present for his court date. He declined to make a statement at the conclusion of the proceedings.

Frisbie has been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana State Police for several months. He was formally charged on Aug. 20.

Court records said Frisbie used the stolen funds to provide training and accommodations for employees of his personal business, Frisbie Security Consulting LLC; to pay for travel expenses for his stepdaughter and to pay himself back for expenses the department had already reimbursed him for.

The thefts occurred between January 2006 and March 2008, court records said.

A federal felony conviction will end Frisbie's law enforcement career, as he will be unable to carry firearms.

It will also quash his attempt to enter the U.S. military -- Frisbie enlisted with the Indiana National Guard on Aug. 7, but a felony conviction will nullify his enlistment.