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Fate of officer goes to council


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The future employment of Hope Town Marshal Randy Bailey will be discussed and possibly decided Monday by the Town Council.

Bailey, 49, was arrested Aug. 19 on a felony count of official misconduct and a misdemeanor count of false informing for making untrue accusations about a May 25, 2012, incident that led to the arrest of Anthony Paul, 49, of Hope.

An official report written by Bailey accused Paul of threatening the marshal’s life at Bailey’s home and refusing to leave his property. However, an audio recording made by Paul of the encounter showed no such threat was made and no refusal was made by Paul to leave Bailey’s home, Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett outlined in a probable-cause affidavit.

At 5:30 p.m. Monday, the Hope Town Council will first hold an executive session at the town hall, located on the northeast corner of Jackson and Harrison streets.

The purpose of the one-hour, closed-door meeting, according to an official notice, is “to receive information concerning an individual’s alleged misconduct” and to “discuss, prior to any determination, that individual’s status as an employee.”

Then, at 6:30 p.m., the council will open its doors for a public session to discuss and possibly make a determination concerning Bailey. During the public meeting, the council will act in its additional capacity as the safety board for the town of Hope, according to the notice.

While the council met only hours after Bailey was arrested, only two actions were taken on the matter at that time. Members voted to suspend Bailey with pay until its Monday meeting and named Hope Police Department Officer Matt Tallent as interim

marshal.

Council members are being careful not to take any missteps and are relying heavily on the advice of town attorney Cynthia Boll, council member Tim Shoaf said.

“We’ve never done this before, and we don’t want to jump the gun. We need to be both thorough and thoughtful,” Shoaf said.

Town Council President Jon Titus said he is grateful to have Boll advising the town, since the Columbus attorney also represents the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Merit Board.

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