Recordings of meetings between suspended Hope Town Marshal Donald Randy Bailey and a deputy prosecutor can be used in Bailey’s upcoming trial, Judge Stephen Heimann has ruled.
Bailey, 50, is accused of making false accusations that led to the 2012 arrest of Hope resident Anthony Paul.
Bailey was arrested on charges of Class D felony misconduct and Class B misdemeanor false informing from an exchange of words he had with Paul outside the marshal’s home in May 2012, according to court affidavits.
He actively served as Hope town marshal from 1989 until September, when the town board suspended him without pay pending results of the court case.
Bailey is accused of telling sheriff’s deputies and the Indiana State Police that Paul had threatened him and refused his demand that he leave his property, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
Eleven months after Paul was arrested on intimidation and criminal trespassing charges, Bailey’s allegations unraveled after a digital audio recording surfaced of the actual conversation.
Charges against Paul were dropped the same day Bailey was arrested.
During a June 26 hearing, defense attorney Tom Barr asked Heimann to suppress video and audio recordings of two meetings Bailey had with Bartholomew County Deputy Prosecutor Greg Long on separate dates in May 2013.
Heimann ruled that recording those conversations without Bailey’s knowledge did not violate his constitutional rights.
According to Indiana law, such recordings can be used in court as long as one of the involved parties knows they are being recorded.
The judge also disagreed with Barr’s suggestion that Bailey was brought into those meetings with Long as an uncharged suspect.
Instead, Heimann ruled that Long’s intention was to resolve a discrepancy in the case against Paul, which was to find out why the digital recording did not contain threats and refusals as Bailey had maintained.
Long had a “very high duty” to refrain from prosecuting Paul after discovering facts and evidence no longer supported the charges, Heimann wrote.
The judge determined that Long’s conduct “not only complied with his duty to refrain from prosecuting cases not supported by probable cause but also ... enhances the public’s esteem for those charged with enforcing the law.”
Heimann also determined that as a longtime law enforcement officer Bailey was fully aware of his rights during his conversations with Long.