Now it appears that the Dearborn County Commissioners are conspiring with Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard and Judge James D. Humphrey to deprive me of my First Amendment right to free speech. On June 28, 2011, Prosecutor Negangard filed a motion to continue my bond reduction hearing scheduled for July 18, 2011, because Negangard claimed that Dearborn County Commissioner Shane McHenry would not be available to testify against me on that date. Why does Commissioner McHenry have an interest in hindering my ability to be released on bond; because Commissioner Henry wants a new jail in Dearborn County.
Dearborn County has been trying to build a new jail because of overcrowding in the current jail. County officials ran into a snag in their plans to build the jail because the estimated cost to build the jail exceeded the twelve million dollar mark. Indiana law requires any public project over a $12 million bond amount to be decided by referendum. I think it goes without saying that the jail expansion interests of Commissioner McHenry and the Dearborn County Commissioners could be hampered if I was allowed to post bond so I would have the opportunity to prepare for my trial outside the walls of the current Dearborn County jail. Commissioner McHenry doesn’t want me to have the opportunity to prepare a defense for trial because it will be detrimental to the jail expansion plan if/when I prevail in the case against me. The jail expansion proposal will be a tougher sell to the Dearborn County taxpayers when I demonstrate how Dearborn County officials like Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard and Judge James D. Humphrey imprison people to carry out personal vendettas. Commissioner McHenry is simply helping to stack the deck against me. [The Dearborn county Commissioners have a history of strong arming people who question the actions of Dearborn County officials. Roughly a year ago during the public comment portion of a commissioners’ meeting, a woman in attendance was raising some concerns about government accountability when one of the commissioners abruptly asked the woman if the fence around her pool was up to code in an apparent attempt to harass and/or intimidate her, as the commissioner’s fencing inquiry had nothing to do with the topic at hand. It is just another example of how some Dearborn County officials use strong armed intimidation tactics to retaliate against those who challenge their authority.] Many of you are probably wondering why a Dearborn County Commissioner would be testifying against me in a criminal trial. It’s simple. Dearborn County Commissioner Shane McHenry is also a detective for the Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit, which is headed by no other than Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard.
I just cannot comprehend why a government would allow a government employee to run for an elected government position. Dearborn County Commissioner Shane McHenry’s boss is Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard. When Commissioner McHenry is doing work for the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department, his boss is Dearborn County Sheriff Mike Kreinhop; a key official who is pushing the jail expansion. This is exactly why modern governments have laws against public employees running for elected office. Commissioner McHenry cannot just arbitrarily choose which county job he is fulfilling at any specific point in time; Dearborn County Commissioner Shane McHenry is always a Dearborn County Commissioner just as Commissioner McHenry is always a Dearborn county Sheriff’s Deputy/Special Crimes Unit Detective. If Commissioner McHenry refused to testify, he could face disciplinary action from either or both of his bosses, Prosecutor Negangard and Sheriff Kreinhop. If Commissioner McHenry testifies in an attempt to deprive me of my First Amendment speech in order to advance the interests of the Dearborn County Commissioners, Commissioner McHenry may open up a whole new legal can of worms.
From what I have gathered in observing and talking to people about Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard is that the man blazes his own trails without fear of repercussions but now he seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into a hole and is dragging Dearborn County down with him. Prosecutor Negangard can claim that the Dearborn County Commissioners’ cannot be named in a First Amendment retaliation suit. He can argue that Commissioner McHenry’s absolute immunity as a Dearborn County Sheriff’s Deputy will protect Commissioner McHenry from civil action as a Dearborn County Commissioner. The truth is that Prosecutor Negangard doesn’t know. The County attorney probably doesn’t know either. What is certain is that it will cost county tax payers to determine the answer in a federal court. If a federal court were to find that the Dearborn County Commissioners conspired with Prosecutor Negangard in retaliation against someone who exercised their First Amendment right to free speech; rather than having to decide on how to fund a new jail, Dearborn County officials may be worrying about how to pay for extensive legal damages.
I encourage Dearborn County citizens to contact local and state officials and demand legislation that prohibits government employees from holding elected government positions. Feel free to contact the Dearborn County Commissioners with any questions or concerns you may have. Rather than going after individuals who speak out against the Dearborn County Court and Law Enforcement system, Commissioner McHenry and the Dearborn County Commissioners should focus on what people like N. Alan Miller III and Douglas A. Garner are saying about the proposed Dearborn County Jail expansion. A recent public letter released by the two lawyers from Zerbe, Garner, Miller, and Blondell, blames the jail overpopulation on excessive bonds, the detention of non-threatening defendants awaiting trial, and the fact that the average length of stay in the Dearborn County jail is 70% to 100% longer than the other jails studied by RQAW. It is gratifying to see a firm like Zerbe, Garner, Miller, and Blondell taking a stand against the Dearborn County machine. I just hope the firm and their clients do not become victims of retaliation because of their valiant position in reforming the Dearborn County Court System.
If you wish to contact me or my family, send emails to email@example.com. Any emails addressed to me will be forwarded to me at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center. Your identity will be kept confidential to protect you from potential retaliation from the Dearborn County Courts, Prosecutors’ office, Commissioners, etc…
Men must endure whatever ills the gods may send.- Sophocles.