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Judge sues prosecutor for intimidation, retribution

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A Delaware County judge is claiming that county prosecutor Mark McKinney and a former deputy prosecutor threatened and intimidated the judge and his wife based on the judge’s ruling on how McKinney handled civil drug forfeitures.

Delaware Circuit 2 Judge Richard Dailey and his wife, Nancy, filed the lawsuit Aug. 18 in Delaware Circuit Court 1 against McKinney, former chief administrative deputy prosecutor Ronald Henderson, the state, and Delaware County. The judge and his wife allege that McKinney, Henderson and others in the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office entered into “a conspiracy to intimidate, extract retribution, and discredit” Judge Dailey because of the judge’s finding in August 2008 that the way McKinney handled civil drug forfeitures amounted to fraud on the court.

Judge Dailey found that the city accounts in which the proceeds from the civil drug forfeitures were deposited weren’t general fund accounts as required by law, but were accessible by members of the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force, an entity McKinney also represented as its attorney. At the time of these forfeitures, McKinney was a deputy prosecutor before being elected prosecutor in January 2007. The judge also ruled that the “Confidential Settlement Agreements” weren’t approved by courts, law enforcement costs weren’t detailed and forfeited assets weren’t apportioned to fiscal bodies, and McKinney handled civil drug forfeitures as private counsel for which he was paid after being elected prosecutor, all in violation of Indiana law.

The plaintiffs claim in August 2008, after Judge Dailey’s ruling, Henderson publicly objected to Nancy’s employment as development officer for the Youth Opportunity Center in the county, threatened to object to every proposed juvenile placement at the facility while she worked there, and drove slowly past her parking spot at the center. Nancy eventually resigned.

The suit also alleges that McKinney made comments to local newspapers in order to discredit, intimidate, or extract retribution against the judge, as well as that the defendants manufactured a criminal case against Judge Dailey.

They claim the defendants’ actions violated the Daileys’ Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th amendment rights, that their reputations continue to be severely damaged, and they suffer from emotional distress. They seek a judgment to compensate them, punitive damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and other relief.

According to the suit, Judge Dailey informed the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission in late August 2008 about the alleged policy in the prosecutor’s office to discredit him based on his ruling on the civil forfeitures issue. McKinney currently faces disciplinary charges in connection to his role as a private attorney on the civil forfeiture matters. According to the docket in his disciplinary case, the Disciplinary Commission's tender of the hearing officer’s findings of fact and conclusions of law, brief in support of the proposed findings, and McKinney’s proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations to the court were entered Friday. Boone Circuit Judge Steven David, a finalist for the upcoming Indiana Supreme Court vacancy, is the appointed hearing officer.
 

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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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