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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Frisbie sentenced for DUI

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- What was supposed to be a trial for former Putnam County Sheriff Mark Frisbie turned into a sentencing hearing Tuesday when Frisbie entered a guilty plea to a charge of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle with at least .15 grams of alcohol in .210 liters of breath.

"I want to apologize to you and to Putnam County and its citizens," Frisbie told Putnam County Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges before being sentenced. "I lost my wife and several friends because of this. But I have learned to respect the law, and I want to regain my integrity and trustworthiness. I'd like to think of today as a day of closure. I would ask for a fair sentence that would be given to anyone on a first offense."

Bridges sentenced Frisbie to the maximum for a Class A misdemeanor, 1 year, with all but three 48-hour periods suspended. The three weekends will be served in the Putnam County Jail. Frisbie will also spend a year on probation.

Bridges took several things into account in sentencing Frisbie, including the fact that Frisbie, on his own, sought counseling for his alcohol abuse issues and has completed over 240 hours of alcohol treatment sessions.

"That's a more intense program than I've seen anyone in the last year-and-a-half do," Bridges said.

Bridges also pointed out that, when requesting a sentence, it was Frisbie who suggested he do three weekends in jail.

"Whenever I ask anyone what they think they should get as a sentence, they always say 'Just give me probation,'" Bridges said.

In November 2008, Frisbie was convicted in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis of federal program theft. During his time as Putnam County sheriff, Frisbie embezzled over $11,000 from the department, and was sentenced to two-and-a-half months in a federal penitentiary. He served that sentence in Atlanta, Ga., and then spent four months of home detention before beginning a two-year term of federal probation.

The charge Frisbie was sentenced for Tuesday stemmed from a Dec. 4 incident in which Frisbie, 39, was arrested by an Indiana State Trooper who said he witnessed Frisbie driving erratically on U.S. 231 in Greencastle.

On Jan. 22, Frisbie was convicted of violating his federal probation and was sentenced in U.S. District Court to six months with Volunteers of America, a residential, non-profit human services organization in Indianapolis.

Frisbie's sentence at VOA will end in mid-August, and he will begin serving his Putnam County sentence at that time.

Frisbie was also charged with Class C misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, Class B misdemeanor public intoxication and infractions open alcohol container and driving left of center. The charges were merged for sentencing.

Frisbie's attorney, Darrell Felling, said he was perplexed as to why the prosecutor's office had not extended a plea agreement to Frisbie, who had never been convicted of any alcohol-related offense.

"There was absolutely no agreement put on the table here, and in all my years (as an attorney) I have never seen that happen before," Felling said.

Putnam County Deputy Prosecutor Jim Ensley attempted to introduce testimony from the state trooper who stopped Frisbie on Dec. 4. Felling objected, noting that all the trooper could really do was reiterate what was already in the court record.

"I do not believe this is relevant beyond what has already been filed," Felling said.

Bridges agreed, and sustained the objection.

Ensley asked Frisbie if he thought the fact that Frisbie was a former officer of the law should be an "extenuating circumstance" in Frisbie's sentencing.

Frisbie said he did not.

"The fact that you are a former sheriff doesn't mean you should be held to a higher standard?" Ensley asked. "Why in your mind does that not make a difference?"

Frisbie noted that at the time of his Putnam County arrest, he had not been sheriff for over a year, and said he felt like he should be treated "just like anyone else."

Ensley also said Frisbie's being "on probation, federal, state or otherwise, adds another layer to it."

"You are held to a higher standard, right or wrong," Ensley said. "That puts this situation in a different light."

Ensley said the state's recommendation was that Frisbie serve 180 days in jail and 180 days on probation.

Felling called Ensley's opinion that Frisbie should be treated differently because he was a former sheriff -- and Ensley's recommended sentence -- "preposterous."

"It's ridiculous," he said. "I've never seen any of that apply, at least not in my legal experience."

Felling asked Frisbie what led to his drinking problems, citing Frisbie's marital issues and depression. He asked Frisbie if he would consider the time just prior to his Dec. 4 arrest as "the lowest point in your life."

"I don't want to be seen as using that as an excuse, but yes," Frisbie said.

Frisbie now lives with his family in Plainfield. He works as a crew leader for an Indianapolis company that strips decals off buildings and trailers. He said he has been sober since Dec. 9, and that he has tremendous support from his family.

Felling asked Frisbie what advice he would give to younger people about the dangers of drinking and driving.

"Obviously, don't do it," Frisbie said. "Especially when you're dealing with depression or other issues, it can grab a hold of you before you know it."

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REALLY? He is just sorry he got caught. Simply amazing the things you can get by with if your name is Mark Frisbie. I am disappointed with our court system..thats for sure.

-- Posted by justme44 on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 7:09 AM

Are you kidding me.... I am so sorry... what a load of @$#@ Of course he requested 3 weekends in jails where he was still Sheriff.... are we stupid enough to think he doesn't still have friends there... he will probable be running the jail not locked up for THREE WEEKENDS! Come on Putnam County be a fair Judical System for all your residents!

-- Posted by Innocent on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 8:13 AM

Those without sin cast the first stone. Unfortunately there are many who believe that they have never committed a sin, made a mistake or treated another badly. Society puts degrees on sins or mistakes, God doesn't. I want to congratulate you Mark on your sobriety and what you have done to better your life. It is a hard road to come back from where you have come from and remain upbeat enough to continue to want to do the right things. There are those who will continue to try and beat you down to their level, they have nothing better to do then to point out another' failings. You have paid the price and done the work needed. As James said; "Faith without works is dead", and you are putting in the works! God Bless You!

-- Posted by redeemed on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 8:38 AM

i echo redeemed's post, mark stand tall, for the good you did is still noted in some books. mark's only real crime he failed to play the game with those in putnam county. i've known mark for years and yes he did some wrongs, but he again acted as he felt he should not like the few who pull strings believed he should. kissing butt was not his, mark's strong point so he paid the price, not a opinion just a fact! good luck mark....

-- Posted by justus on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 8:59 AM

The posting by Innocent shows how little he/she knows about the Putnam County Jail. Sheriff Fenwick now runs the jail, not Mark Frisbie. Going back into a jail that you used to run would be embarrassing to me. I don't know why Mark requested that. He is trying to get his life back together after his disgrace and divorce. I support him in that, but do not condone what he did. I wish more of the detractors in Putnam County would have some compassion, but that probably won't happen.

-- Posted by not gullible on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 9:00 AM

Enough is enough already! I don't know Mark, but I feel he is being unfairly treated by people in this community. Of course he made mistakes - have you? He has fulfilled his sentence for theft. It is unfortunate that he started drinking but a lot of people turn to alcohol when depressed. I'm sure all of you know a few. Thank God nobody was hurt. Sounds to me like he is trying to rise out of the ashes and create a new life. Let's support that. His sobriety is a huge accomplishment! I think about all the drunks I know who continually live that life and subject their families to it every day. At least he is trying. Good luck, Mark!

-- Posted by cougarpride on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 9:01 AM


-- Posted by clgruener on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 9:06 AM

I think that Frisbie is trying to do better and become a better person. It seems that he has been dealing with a lot, which is no excuse, but atleast he is owning up to his mistakes! Not many will do that. I commend him for his efforts and hope that he learns from this and starts to take back his life. I think we all need to remember that we are not to judge.

-- Posted by Greencastle7 on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 9:09 AM

To those that do not know. His other crimes cannot be used against him in a new crime. It will however violate his probation. Also everyone has been complaining that he has been treated differently than everyone else and now they try to treat him the same and you still complain. He did wrong and should be punished but get over sheesh!

-- Posted by hardtobelieve on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 9:22 AM

You are so right, Greencastle7 - we are not to judge. For most people, this only applies when THEY are the ones being judged. Sad but true!

-- Posted by cougarpride on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 9:32 AM

Although I did not know Mark, either, people really tend to be high and mighty on a blog where their face and identity are hidden. These are probably the same people who sit in church every Sunday, singing praises. Really annoying. Yeah, going back into a jail that he used to run, will probably be the hardest thing he will have to do to date, also the most humbling. This might all be part of the healing and rebuilding process that he is going through. No matter how you feel about him personally, he has lost everything and has to begin somewhere, and for that, I commend him, and wish him God's speed.

-- Posted by lindam7766 on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 10:14 AM

Did I miss something in the story? Frisbie didn't ask to serve in Putnam County Jail, just jail period! And, might I add that when Fenwick took over, he weeded out those he thought were corrupt. Being an offender amongst those you used to be in charge of will probably be more humbling than Frisbie's experience in prison where he knew nobody!

I do not know Frisbie personally, but he admitted to wrong doing and re-paid the money he wrongly took, there are many others in this community who have stolen and never admitted guilt or repaid their debts.

Sobriety is a huge step! Rock bottom is humbling, he's trying to start over and we all know his life will never be the same.

-- Posted by Greencastle7 on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 10:24 AM

Lindam and Greencastle7 are very accurate. I know Mark and was used and disappointed by him more than once . For all the past denial I saw working in the LE community with Mark , I truly see his words as remorseful and unafraid to face his past. I assure you his most humble moments will be serving in the PCJ, but it sounds as if he needs that to reconcile all that has happened. As for Jim Ensley ... Leave him alone , he is only serving the populace and trying somehow to seek justice for the self righteous who continue to bash Mark and cast stones. Unfortunately these fools get to vote and Ensley understands the Putnam Co. "machine".

-- Posted by Seagullslim on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 10:58 AM

OMG you people continue to crack me up on how perfect you all think you are. GET OVER IT and realize that Mark has by far paid his price. None of you are perfect, and probably have not paid for all of your mistakes either. It's usually the biggest sinners that like to cast stones to make themselves look better. Looked in the mirror lately ?? You should !

-- Posted by mindmyownbusiness on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 11:30 AM


-- Posted by cougarpride on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 12:32 PM

I wish Mark the best and hope he is successful in turning his life around. he did do some good here, as well as some bad. Unfortunately good things do not always make headlines.

-- Posted by talkymom3 on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 12:34 PM

I don't drink but, I belong to a club I go to occasionally and hear folks that are bragging about how they have never got caught. They take backroads and drive drunk. I am so glad I do not live in the country. Mark got caught and he has been trying to better himself by getting help to turn his life around. You people need to worry about the ones on the road that don't get caught cause they beat the system.Lest he is being accountable for his actions.

-- Posted by bam on Wed, May 26, 2010, at 6:45 PM

You know he was to be an example for our youth and look what he has done to the county. I have a hard time knowing the fact that he is on probation and he has violated that just like other people has, he needs to be treated just like everyone else that has violated their probation! Lock him up.

-- Posted by cato on Thu, May 27, 2010, at 10:46 AM


-- Posted by Michele1953 on Thu, May 27, 2010, at 12:12 PM

You've got it Seagullslim, exactly what I was thinking. Going back to PCJ would be the last place I would ask to go to serve time. This just proving that people in especially the law enforcement field, are flawed as humans as well, and I congratulate him for seeing himself as an equal with the other offenders at this point and not as better as those offenders. We are all human, and those of you who think you are better and not flawed in any way, I feel sorry for you. He is crawling his way back up from a very deep hole and I think it is honorable. Good for him! For the rest of you who cast stones, put your rose colored glasses back on and go on living your life being delusional....

-- Posted by lindam7766 on Thu, May 27, 2010, at 12:21 PM

The Judge does not make the laws. He/she has to know, follow and enforce them based on all the facts presented. In this case I think that was what was done.

Good luck to Mark on his road to recovery.

-- Posted by allthefacts on Thu, May 27, 2010, at 2:11 PM

He transgressions go further back. Does anyone recall him being successfully sued by the Public

Defender in Federal Court for his actions in 2005 after he threatened the Public Defender and barred all the Public Defender's from the jail? Wonder how he would have liked not being able to confer with an attorney during this time facing charges while he was in jail?

Remember, his actions cost the county the settlement amount paid to the Public Defender. He returned the favor by stealing from the county. Also, this is not the first time he was stopped for suspicion of drunken driving. Being Sheriff got him out of at least one prior stop. It was obvious at that point that he had a problem. However, he was a friend of Bookwalter. They actually campaigned for office together at joint fundraisers and a review of this paper's archives will reveal the joint campaign ads.

But, when he became a political liability, Bookwalter cut him loose.

-- Posted by forensic on Sun, May 30, 2010, at 3:07 PM

No mention of a driver's license suspension.

-- Posted by reckman on Sun, May 30, 2010, at 5:48 PM

For all of you who can continue and talk about people, I feel terribly sorry for you. For you who can continue to talk about people and can't say it to that person's face, I'm embarrased for you.

You people have no idea who you hurt when talking about others. And the ones who talk tend to not know the whole story.

I thank each and every person who can look beyond mistakes (because we ALL, yes ALL, make them). Even those people who don't know Mark, MY DAD, and someone I love with all my heart, and still can send Good Luck messages, thank you so much.

Mark is a normal person, former sheriff or not. Worry about your own normal lives and find happiness in your own lives. Stop worrying about everyone else and their situations.

So again Thank you all who can look beyond mistakes and send blessings, and honestly Thank you all who can continue and talk about my family because honestly you make my family stronger and even better than before!

-- Posted by FrisbiesDaughter on Mon, May 31, 2010, at 10:36 PM


Your father is an admitted thief, drunk and liar. Which of those charaeristics are you most proud of?

-- Posted by forensic on Mon, May 31, 2010, at 11:03 PM

Mistake? My Dad always said: "If one adds two and two and gets five, you have made a mistake. If you lie cheat and steal, you are a crook.

Apparently he cared more about booze and money than you or he would not have brought this down on his family,FrisbiesDaughter,and I will be glad to say that to his face with you there anytime.

And is seems that you are one of the people who benefited from his dishonesty--did you get a First Class airline ticket on the county?

-- Posted by forensic on Mon, May 31, 2010, at 11:15 PM

The part that I am proud of is that he can sit there an admit to his mistakes and take the necessary steps to get the help he needs. I can't wait until your kids grow up and people say bad things about their family to them. You have no idea what he has done for me and I will continue to stand behind him. So talk all you want.

And again you have all just proven my point that you are the ones with problems, sitting here talking down about my family.

I can sit here with a smile because you all have no idea and that's what Greencastle is all about!

-- Posted by FrisbiesDaughter on Tue, Jun 1, 2010, at 10:03 AM

Forensic - I bet you have never committed a sin in your entire life, have you? I suggest you open the Bible and begin reading it. Start with the Ten Commandments. Can you honestly say that you are without sin? Mark has fulfilled his sentence. It's time to move on, don't you think?

FrisbiesDaughter - I sure hope your family can find normalcy soon. I really wish your family peace and healing. Don't waste your time arguing with people on here - their day will come. Praying...

-- Posted by cougarpride on Tue, Jun 1, 2010, at 11:44 AM


He has not "fulfilled" his sentences. He is still serving both a federal sentence and this latest one.

And looking at the Ten Commandments I see: "Thou Shall Not Steal, etc. So, what is your point?

-- Posted by forensic on Tue, Jun 1, 2010, at 2:05 PM

My point is this: that you are a sinner right along with the rest of us. Be careful when casting stones! Have you ever lied - even once? Ever stolen anything (no matter how small)? Have you ever looked lustfully? If you answered yes to all three, then you are a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart by your own admission. And those were only three of the Ten Commandments. How are you going to fare on Judgment Day? Better look closely before you begin judging others. He is attempting to do the right thing and rise up from the ashes.

-- Posted by cougarpride on Tue, Jun 1, 2010, at 2:53 PM


What if it is only"yes" to two of them, not all three as you state? Then I pass your test and am free to bang away. Why would you assume that if one looks "lustfully" that they are also married? Marriage would be a requirement to commit adultery--right? Moreover, it is quite a leap from that to the dictionary definition of "adultery" even if married. (I always hope that I look lustfully to the opposite sex, I want them lusting after me.)

So, how do you feel about the real judges, they judge people all the time?

-- Posted by forensic on Tue, Jun 1, 2010, at 6:09 PM

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