Town Marshall Arrested for Official Misconduct
The Hope Town Marshall was arrested Monday afternoon on charges of official misconduct.
Donald R. (Randy) Bailey was arrested by Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett on a Bartholomew County Circuit Court warrant charging him with official misconduct, a Class D Felony, and false informing, a Class B Misdemeanor. This arrest comes after a 4 month investigation.
Major Todd Noblitt with the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department says the investigation stemmed from an incident that took place at Bailey's residence back in May. The initial incident took place on May 24 when, according to Bailey's report, he responded to the residence of Anthony Paul to discuss a child visitation issue after being requested to do so by Paul's wife. In that report, Bailey noted that "due to Mr. Paul's aggressiveness [he] had to be threatened with being tased." Bailey and a Hope Reserve Marshall then left the residence after Paul demanded that they leave.
The following day, Bailey advised that Paul came to his residence to speak with him regarding the incident that took place on the previous day. According to Bailey's official police report, he ordered Paul to leave his residence at which time Paul responded, "This is about my kids and I'm gonna'' kill you." Bailey reported that he told Paul that he was under arrest, and as Bailey was retrieving his weapon, Paul fled in his vehicle.
Bailey then grabbed his portable police radio and requested assistance from the Hope Police Department and Bartholomew County Sheriff's Office. Bailey advised the responding units that he "had a subject knock on my door and threaten to kill me." Paul's vehicle was stopped a short time later by a Hope Reserve Marshall. Bailey arrived on the scene, and with the assistance of the Reserve Marshall, placed Paul under arrest.
Bailey requested the Indiana State Police conduct a criminal investigation and provided information to them that was the basis for Paul's arrest. Paul was charged in Bartholomew County Circuit Court with intimidation against a law enforcement officer, a Class D Felony, and criminal trespass, a Class A Misdemeanor.
Near the time of this incident, Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash requested that Sheriff Gorbett conduct an investigation into allegations of false informing and official misconduct against Bailey.
Noblitt noted that during the course of the investigation, a digital audio recording was produced that was purported to be a recording of the entire encounter at Bailey's residence between Bailey and Paul. After reviewing the recording, it was determined that Paul never made a threat of any kind to Bailey, nor did he refuse to leave his property.
Noblitt said the recording was subsequently analyzed by an audio and video forensic expert. That experts final report determined that the recording was "original, continuous and unaltered".
Sheriff Gorbett said, "Bailey was untruthful and violated the very oath that he swore to uphold. He will be held accountable for his actions. Nonetheless, no person that has an issue with a law enforcement officer should ever approach them at their residence or when they are off-duty. Any issues should be directed to the appropriate agency leader, in this case the Hope Town Board, or the matter should be handled in a court of law. Nothing positive will happen when engaging or confronting an officer at his or her home."
A press release from the Sheriff's Department says it will continue to provide law enforcement services to the residents of Hope and assistance to the Hope Police Department whenever and wherever it is needed.
Bailey was arrested in Hope and booked in the Bartholomew County Jail. Bond was set at $35,000. Bailey posted bond less than two hours after his arrest. As a condition of his bond, he is ordered to have no contact with Paul.
Our attempts to get comment from members of the Hope Town Board on Bailey's official status as Marshall were unsuccessful.
We are awaiting comment from Nash as to the status of the charges facing Paul.