Nash gets 30-day law license suspension in disciplinary case


Former Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash’s law license will be suspended for 30 days, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in resolving his attorney discipline case. Nash’s suspension from the practice of law is related to his guilty plea last year to criminal charges arising from a dispute with a neighbor.

The court on Friday ordered Nash’s suspension, effective May 16, after which he will be automatically reinstated to the practice of law. The court ordered the discipline in approving a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline between Nash and the court’s disciplinary commission.

In March 2023, Nash pleaded guilty to Class B misdemeanor counts of harassment and disorderly conduct. The court in an order signed by Chief Justice Loretta Rush said that Nash stipulated to the facts that he “was serving as the elected Bartholomew County Prosecutor at the time he committed his crimes. Both counts arose from altercations between (Nash) and his neighbor involving their respective pets. (Nash) taunted his neighbor more than once to call the police, stating at one point, ‘the last time I checked I am still the chief law enforcement officer until December 31, so go ahead and call the cops!’”

The court found Nash’s conduct violated two attorney professional conduct rules: committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer; and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Under the order, Nash is barred from undertaking any new legal matters between the date the order is served and the effective date of his suspension.

Nash, 59, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges in March 2023 and was sentenced to 180 days on probation, served consecutively, for each of the counts. Seven other charges, including two felonies, were dismissed.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the charges were filed after an incident in May 2022 when Nash angrily approached his neighbor, Scott Salazar-Stuck, to tell him his dogs were dangerous, and if Salazar-Stuck didn’t keep the canines on a leash, he’d “better get a lawyer.” Salazar-Stuck claimed Nash had earlier fired a BB gun toward his house.

Some time after Nash left, Salazar-Stuck found a small animal collar in his own yard with Nash’s phone number on it that he showed to him, the court document states.

When Salazar-Stuck asked why the collar was on his property, Nash said he didn’t know and insisted that his neighbor give him back the collar, the affidavit states. When Salazar-Stuck asked Nash if they could discuss the matter like adults, the affidavit indicates Nash’s rhetoric became increasingly angry, according to court documents.

“You think a BB gun is dangerous! Your dogs are dangerous! A BB gun is not going to kill you! You have kids playing with the dogs! You think a BB gun can kill you! I can kill you! I will kill you and Indiana state law says I can kill you! Dude, you came into my yard screamed at me about shooting a BB gun! You put up a fence! Throw and go, the last time I checked I am still the chief law enforcement officer until Dec. 31 so go ahead and call the cops! Good luck with that! Throw me my thing!,” according to the affidavit.

Salazar-Stuck said he took Nash’s threat seriously, telling officers that his wife had video recorded some of the confrontation on her cell phone with everything after “Indiana law says I can kill you,” recorded, according to the police report.

The couple told Indiana State Police investigators they were “very concerned” for their safety due to Nash’s “erratic behavior,” as well as his position and power as prosecutor and chief law enforcement officer, the court document states. They also said they believed Nash “can carry out his threats to kill Mr. Stuck,” the affidavit states.

Among other things, terms of Nash’s probation also ordered him to have no contact with Scott or Monica Salazar-Stuck for the duration of his suspended sentence.

Nash was elected Bartholomew County prosecutor in 2002 and served until the beginning 0f 2023. In 2022, he unsuccessfully challenged State Rep. Ryan Lauer, R-Columbus, in the Republican primary for the District 59 seat. Lauer received 68% of the vote in Bartholomew County, while Nash received 32%.

Another Republican, Lindsey Holden-Kay, defeated Joshua Scherschel in the 2022 GOP primary for Bartholomew County prosecutor. Holden-Kay succeeded Nash, who now is in private practice, at the beginning of 2023.