Special judge selected in police chief lawsuit

Monday, March 31, 2008

CLOVERDALE -- A special judge has been selected to hear the case of the former Cloverdale police chief who is suing the town for alleged code violations.

Attorney Bill Harrington, who is representing former Chief Charlie Hallam, said Judge Adler of Vigo Superior Court No. 2, was recently appointed. Now the parties must wait to see if Adler will agree to hear the case.

Putnam County Judge Matt Headley previously agreed to hear the case, but later recused himself by citing a conflict of interest.

Back in February, Hallam filed suit against the town council claiming the members violated the law when they decided to terminate his employment as deputy marshal as part of a so-called "Reduction in Force" plan.

A few weeks prior to serving Hallam notice of his pending termination, the council voted to demote him from marshal to deputy marshal, a move Hallam saw as politically motivated.

The town's attorney, Allan Yackey told Judge Matt Headley in February that the town needed to lay off an officer for financial reasons.

Since that time, a temporary injunction has allowed Hallam to remain on the force, beyond a March 1 cut-off, but officer Jason Baugh was relieved of his duties instead, according to Marshal Don Pearson.

Hallam's attorney claims his client was entitled to a disciplinary hearing, but the town's attorney says that isn't the case.

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  • "A few weeks prior to serving Hallam notice of his pending termination, the council voted to demote him from marshal to deputy marshal, a move Hallam saw as politically motivated."

    What move HASN'T been politically motivated lately?

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 6:13 AM
  • I found some intersting facts on town marshalls:

    In most towns, the town marshal is responsible for law enforcement in the town. The marshal is charged with executing the orders of the town council and with enforcing the laws of the town and the state and has the power and duty to serve all process issued by the town council. The marshal and appointed deputies must meet the state training requirements of the Law Enforcement Academy Training Board (IC 5-2-1). The marshal serves at the pleasure of the council but may not be dismissed or suspended from the force without a hearing if the marshal has served six months after completion of the state training requirements (IC 36-5-7-3). There is a similar hearing requirement for deputy marshals (IC 36-5-7-6). Towns are not required to have a town marshal, however. The town council may adopt an ordinace to abolish the office of the town marshal and to establish a metroplitan board of police commissioners to administer the town's police department (IC 36-8-9-2).

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 8:13 AM
  • This is an addition to previous comment.

    The Town Marshal Course, consists of over 300 hours of training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and over 50 hours of home study. Persons who successfully complete this training are only eligible for employment as police officers in towns having no more than one Marshal and two Deputy Marshals.

    Did Pearson and Hallam complete this training?

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 8:16 AM
  • "But yet we have a "police commissioner" who is a civilain carrying a firearm and dressing as one of our marshals."

    This is not true.

    -- Posted by South of 40 on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 11:16 AM
  • If Officer Hallam completed the state training and had served for six months after completing the training, the town board could not dismiss him without a hearing. (IC 36-5-7-3).

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 1:38 PM
  • Regarding the "police commissioner" kinda funny they would select someone that refused to take drug tests when on the board a few years ago. Also my question is if one is sporting a badge and firearm without the proper credentials....isnt that considered impersonating an officer? People better keep an eye on this town board...evidently they think they can do anything they please, whether it be right or wrong legal or illegal.

    -- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 2:13 PM
  • No one refused to take a drug test. That is a rumor that Patti Truax and John Davis started. Concerning personating an officer, NOT TRUE! Do your research. Attend a council meeting. Call and speak to your council. Check the records. I did. Since we are off subject here, what did you think of the Endeavor Board elections? Jim Smith had 174 votes, John Davis had a mere 16. Hmm......

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 4:20 PM
  • It seems Hallam has managed to keep his job for another month. I guess he will keep it as long as the case is pending. How many judges can refuse to hear it? If the case does get heard, and Hallam loses in court, can he make an appeal? In the meantime, why have a commissioner if we have a Marshal? Could this be part of a plan B to oust Hallam? I believe that some of the board does not like him, though he is certainly qualified.

    -- Posted by strings on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 5:18 PM
  • I agree with Linnie. I think the town council should address concerns that anyone might have.

    -- Posted by true grit on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 5:44 PM
  • oh my bad ther linnie, this past board member...now wanna be commissioner...didnt refuse to take it...he took it 3 months after one was requested...wonder why the delay. and dont even get me started on the big E elections. Know for a fact that there were more than 16 votes for one person. But you can believe what you want to, far as im concerned, that place has as much patting on the back as the wanna be town council. Anyways back on the matter at hand, hopefully things work out for mr hallam, maybe some good will come of all the wrong doing thats been going on.

    -- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 6:22 PM
  • Oh..so he did take the test? Just curious move on, where did you come by that info. Since you seem to know so much, how many times did this commish guy get randomly chosen to take a drug test. I heard the same few board members kept being chosen over and over again. Patty Truax, aka clerk treasurer was the one doing the choosing.

    Sorry I just gotta ask, you said you "know for a fact that there were more than 16 votes for one person" How do you know? Did you help count the votes?

    -- Posted by true grit on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 6:50 PM
  • T. grit I heard the same thing.

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 7:21 PM
  • Good luck getting any of the board members to return a call unless of course you're lonnie who seems to have an inside track. He seems to have Chartered a direct course to this board. I commend Cloverlady for providing information the majority of commentators would not have taken the time to look up, including me. Good job! In my circle of friends it is quite clear the board actions were politically motivated. Why in the world would the board bring Pearson back with his history? The Banner ran a story where the board are investors in Pearsons business which just doesn't seem quite "right" and smells to the high heavens. I guess I just answered my own question.

    Outofcontrol hit it right on the head when they stated the town paid to send what appeared to be an exemplary officer to be trained only to let him get away. Who is looking out for the towns best interest instead of their personal investments? Certainly not this board.

    We find it odd the town needs a police commissioner and have even heard the board is turning the position into a paid position of $60,000. None of us have seen Puffer in uniform but have been told by a Sheriff deputy he does have a gun, badge, and NO training.

    I think the actions of the board since demoting Hallam will work well for Hallams case.

    I'm not quite sure what drug testing has to do with this article but we do remember it being talked of at T's when it was stated at a meeting the only problems with drug testing came from three board members, Pagett, Vickeroy, and Puffer and Utilities manager Lyons. I don't remember if the problems were refusals or dragging ones feet as it was just idle gossip. Its interesting the board recently voted themselves out of taking the drug tests. giving credence to what has been stated.

    -- Posted by gingb2 on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 10:25 PM
  • It's been a while since I've had to play referee here but I've been busy working the NCAA games.

    The first whistle goes against justmoveon for stepping out of bounds. If you want to comment about drugs, go to the "raid" article.

    Next, leenie is charged with a technical foul for flagrant off topic and severe name dropping. cloverlady can step to the line for 3 free throws.

    Next, an ejection of true grout for because that is actually leenie under another screen name, and again, severe name dropping.

    Another technical foul on bingoII for name dropping as well. So40 can step to the line for 3 free throws, but there better not be a leenie jersey under that #40. outercontrol, and strungs, I'm watching for palming and traveling, so be warned.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 6:06 AM
  • Baugh is only gone because of the injunction Hallam has. And getting Hallam out is politically motivated...he WAS in an appointed position. And what is all this "commissioner" talk coming from? I guess outofcontrol likes to start rumors.

    -- Posted by cdalemomof2 on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 6:30 AM
  • what the heck, get rid of pearson and hallam both as suggested and save the town money and embarrassment. but the real world is corruption is corruption. good luck on hope of a competent marshall and town board!

    -- Posted by gottokno on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 2:44 PM
  • Fact- Puffer was not on the board when they did away with the drug testing.

    Fact- It was done as a cost savings for the town.

    Fact- Pass or fail it's a moot point because they are elected officials.

    Fact- One person did get more than 16 votes. Jim Smith had 174, John Davis 16.

    Fact- Just idle gossip.

    Question- T's? Is that Truax's office? That is suppose to be off limits (for security reasons) unless you are an employee.

    Question- As the judge said during the latest Whiatker/ Davis lawsuit against the town, What's the beef?

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 3:25 PM
  • Another fact, "don't know nothing" is a double negative, thanks for the confirmation, we all knew it anyway. I discovered that T's is where certain ladies who turn gray on top, get it turned blue(G.etting I.nto N.eon G.rayish B.lue).

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 4:44 PM
  • I've never seen gingb1-10 at Designers Den.

    -- Posted by true grit on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 5:15 PM
  • Where did all this police commissioner nonsense come from? We have a Town Marshal in Cloverdale serves at the pleasure of the council but may not be dismissed or suspended from the force without a hearing if the marshal has served six months after completion of the state training requirements (IC 36-5-7-3). (See comments below)

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Wed, Apr 2, 2008, at 4:37 PM
  • cloverlady, it must be rumor or leaked information. Time will tell us.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 7:44 PM
  • Thank you Mrs. Johnny Cochran for that second rendition from the Indiana Code. There is case law that supports the dismissal of Charlie Hallam for the financial reasons stated by the town board without disciplinary hearings. From the legal pleadings I have read it appears to be part of the town's defense against his lawsuit.

    I do not believe that his tentative dismissal is a disciplinary matter. Everything we do in life is political. So to sit and say this is not "political" (not party politics) is false. His actions and behaviors towards many people in this community have put him in this "political" position. We each make our own beds in life and he has made his.

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 7:55 PM
  • Indiana is not a right-to-work state. I'd suggest you hit the law library and study case law plus research some Indiana cases similar to this matter before spouting off Indiana Codes as absolutes.

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 8:00 PM
  • My goodness it appears someone touched a nerve with deb I mean cdaleresident. Of course trying to compare IC to cdale's opinion is completely ludicrous. I almost thought I was having my hair done (not in blue xgamer) with her spouting out her thoughtless opinions as fact. As xgamer stated "Time will tell". Can't wait to see cdale backpedaling and blaming everything under the sun.

    -- Posted by gingb2 on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 10:02 PM
  • If you want to talk about Indiana Codes and the issue of Charlie being let go I am game for that. Go get similar court cases related to the Indiana Code specified here and provide them so everyone at home can follow along. Then we can have a discussion on how that law was applied by the court system, right or wrong (opinion based of course), and how you and I (or others) feel it should be applied in this case. Until you do that there is no point speaking with you as you appear to be unwilling to discuss the matter in an intelligent fashion.

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 11:45 PM
  • As stated numerous times before...time will tell. The discussion WILL take place in a court of law. No need to speak or air it out here. I will leave you with a few quotables:

    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    and the best for last..

    "Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."

    -- Posted by ckenthefacts on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 1:50 AM
  • Is it just me or is Deb (cdaleresident)wanting others to go get her "facts" for her so "she can intelligently" discuss her position? As my ex would say "she's been shooting blanks" all this time.

    I would say what she is attempting is an oxymoron. As stated by almost everyone else, time will tell.

    -- Posted by gingb2 on Sun, Apr 6, 2008, at 7:57 PM
  • I was looking at those IC codes being quoted. I believe that you need to look at the entire code and not just one line (section) of it. Each line builds on the line before. Each line of the code needs to be met for it to apply.

    -- Posted by cdalemomof2 on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 9:54 AM
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