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Hope’s town marshal has been arrested on charges of falsely accusing another man of a crime, the Bartholomew County sheriff outlined in a probable-cause affidavit.
Donald R. “Randy” Bailey, 49, who has headed the Hope Police Department since 1989, has been charged with official misconduct, a Class D felony, and false informing, a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, Bailey could face penalties ranging from 6 months to 4 years in prison, as well as fines of up to $15,000.
The charges are in connection with a May 25, 2012, incident during which Anthony Wayne Paul, 49, showed up at Bailey’s home near Schaefer Lake. The incident took place one day after Bailey had visited Paul’s residence in Hope on a child-custody issue, and threatened to use a stun gun on Paul due to what the marshal described as “Mr. Paul’s aggressiveness,” according to the affidavit.
Bailey stated he had ordered Paul to leave his residence at which time the marshal said Paul responded, “This is about my kids, and I’m gonna kill you.” Bailey also claimed that Paul refused the marshal’s demand that he leave his property, the affidavit said.
Bailey said Paul left in his car only after the marshal tried to grab his service revolver to arrest the resident. When Bailey got on his police radio to order his own men and request the Sheriff’s Department to stop Paul, he also claimed Paul had threatened to kill him, the affidavit said.
As the result of an Indiana State police investigation based largely on Bailey’s report, Paul was arrested that same day and charged with intimidation against a law enforcement officer, a felony, and criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor.
However, the marshal’s account unraveled after a digital audio recording surfaced of the May 25, 2012, conversation between Bailey and Paul. The recording contains no threats against Bailey and no refusal by Paul to leave the marshal’s property, Sheriff Mark Gorbett said Monday.
Through his attorney, Dan Patterson, Paul said he made the recording on the advice of a friend, the affidavit said.
“Literally, Bailey framed this guy. That’s unacceptable,” Gorbett said.
The sheriff said he was especially concerned by a comment Bailey made to Sheriff’s Captain Greg Duke on May 6, moments before he learned of the recording’s existence. Bailey had said, “Greg, I’d probably shot (Paul) in the back if I had a gun,” according to the affidavit.
After Bailey learned of the recordings and listened to them, the marshal first claimed a threat by Paul must have been made before the recorder was turned on. However, since the recorded conversation begins with both men saying “morning” to each other, investigators told Bailey that explanation didn’t seem logical, the affidavit said.
Bailey then said the recording must have been edited. However, an audio and video forensic expert who formerly worked for the FBI concluded the recording was “original, continuous and unaltered”, the affidavit said.
Charges against Paul were dropped Monday as a result of Bailey’s arrest, Gorbett said.
Bailey was taken into custody shortly before 1:30 p.m. Monday as he was investigating a possible drunken driver, Gorbett said. Circuit Court Judge Stephen Heimann had signed the arrest warrant an hour earlier.
Bailey was booked into the Bartholomew County Jail at 2:08 p.m. and released at 3:15 p.m. after posting a $3,500 cash bond, said Deputy Sheriff Maj. Todd Noblitt, spokesman for the department.
The Hope Town Council voted Monday night to suspend Bailey with pay until its Sept. 9 meeting, when it will determine how next to proceed. Hope police officer Matt Tallent was named interim marshal, and said he would garner help of the town’s 16 reserve officers to handle the police department’s business for now.
While it will be up to the Hope council to determine whether Bailey will continue serving as a law enforcement officer, he would have to resign if convicted, Gorbett said.
Bailey was most recently reappointed as town marshal in January on a 4-1 council vote.
Timeline of Bailey incident
May 24, 2012: Hope Town Marshal Randy Bailey appears at the home of Anthony Paul on a child-custody matter and threatens to use a Taser on the Hope man if he doesn’t cooperate.
May 25, 2012: Bailey claimed that Paul showed up at the marshal’s home that morning, acting confrontational and threatening to kill him. Bailey then called for police assistance in apprehending the Hope resident. As a result, Paul was arrested and charged with a felony.
Week of April 22, 2013: Paul’s attorney provides a tape-recorded conversation made by his client of the interaction 11 months earlier with the marshal. The recording does not include information that can be construed as a threat. Afterward, the recording is turned over to an audio/visual technician specialist with the Indiana State Police to make an analysis.
May 6, 2013: Bailey attends a meeting in County Prosecutor’s office and listens to Paul’s recording. He suggests that it must not be complete and may have been edited to remove the threats.
Aug. 10, 2013: Report on recording from State Police detective comes back, confirming earlier conclusion that recording contained no threat.
Aug. 13, 2013: Audio/video forensic consultant concludes that Paul’s recording was “original, continuous and unaltered.”
Aug. 19, 2013: Marshal Bailey arrested, charged with felony misconduct.
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