UPDATE: Reserve deputy apparently at center of federal investigation

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Federal agents spent part of Monday conducting an investigation at the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed.

Agents were seen removing boxes from the sheriff's office on Greencastle's south side.

While early speculation centered on past problems at the Sheriff's Department, including the conviction of former deputy T.J. Smith on police brutality charges, the investigation appears to center on a Morgan County man who works for the sheriff's department.

The U.S. Attorney's Office also confirmed on Monday that a related federal action took place in Morgan County. It has since come to light that the investigation took place in the town of Waverly at the home of Harrison Township Fire Chief Dave Allison.

At least a dozen unmarked federal cars were seen at Allison's home.

While it is unclear exactly what federal authorities are investigating, the corresponding investigations in Greencastle and Waverly seem to point more toward Allison's position as grant writer and chief procurement officer for the department, as well as his fire chief duties.

In 2009, the Harrison Township Fire Department received a $1.1 million federal grant for the construction of a new fire station. The facility remains unbuilt.

Locally, Allison has been praised on more than one occasion for free acquisitions of military surplus items for the county, such as a pair of Humvees for the Sheriff's Department and a 1999 Oshkosh plow truck that Allison drove more than 100 miles from Grissom Air Reserve Base to Putnam County back in 2011. The truck was then turned over to the Putnam County Highway Department.

According to information from the Indiana Department of Administration, the dozens of other federal acquisitions by the sheriff's department have included an infrared imaging system valued at more than $1 million, multiple trucks valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and even an ice cream maker valued at around $16,000.

Allison, who also serves as a reserve deputy, was back at the Putnam County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

Contrary to early reports by other media, officials could neither confirm nor deny if the matter is related to the Smith investigation. Further information has it looking less like there is a connection to the former deputy.

Smith was sentenced earlier this month to 14 months in federal prison on a pair of police brutality convictions.

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  • could someone stick a snow plow on one of those humvees and clear the roads in Van bibber this winter? I really am horrified at the idea of spending ANOTHER winter where I am trapped for two months and unable to leave my home. The county roads are perfectly fine, its the roughly one mile of Van Bibber road that is completely impassable and even kept propane companies from delivering needed fuel last winter.

    -- Posted by Heron on Wed, Dec 17, 2014, at 9:07 PM
  • Tom Ross if you review TJ Smiths trial record, 1 officer did speak up.

    -- Posted by 1armyvet on Wed, Dec 17, 2014, at 11:55 PM
  • Heron during the heavy snow cr 450 was 1 lane all the way to brick chapel road. It was only that way for a few days till the county could catch up. I traveled it in my 4 wheel drive and was available for emergency run if asked by the POA or fire dept. There was a shortage of propane at the time not caused by the road conditions. Should it become necessary for your residence drive and sidewalk to be cleared (if you are physically unable) if you contact the POA office they can assist.By the way the county didn't clear the way to summerset rd at all at that time.

    -- Posted by 1armyvet on Thu, Dec 18, 2014, at 12:03 AM
  • 1 officer speaking up doesnt make it right. Why didnt any of them speak up over the years?????

    -- Posted by tblizz on Thu, Dec 18, 2014, at 9:29 AM
  • I believe this "GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING" attitude does not start or stop with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department....

    -- Posted by pksauer1 on Thu, Dec 18, 2014, at 6:17 PM
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