Are you a journalist looking for an investigative exposé piece involving a court reporter and county prosecutor fixing Grand Jury Records that includes a judicial cover-up? Well look no further. This isn’t a joke. It really is this easy.
STEP ONE: Read Judge Brian Hill’s order to release grand jury records following the Indiana Public Access Counselor’s advisory opinion stating Hill erred in denying requests for the grand jury audio. However, Hill’s order directs Dearborn Superior Court II court reporter Barbara Ruwe to not prepare exact copies of the audio from the criminal defamation grand jury investigation of Dan Brewington but gives Ruwe the authority to copy and paste the audio to recreate the record at Ruwe’s discretion. Despite already providing multiple excuses why not to release the audio behind the transcripts, Hill raises a new argument. Hill now claims the Court just became aware that the audio from Brewington’s proceedings also include Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard frequently switching between “four to five” other grand jury proceedings during the same period thus requiring Ruwe to cut and paste the from the original audio recording so the copy would only include audio from Brewington’s proceeding.
STEP TWO: Follow the link to an “official” transcription of the grand jury audio from Brewington’s grand jury proceedings certified by Barbara Ruwe. Hit “Ctrl F” and do a search for words like “record” or “Brewington case” or any similar words that demonstrate Negangard advising the grand jurors he was switching back to Brewington’s case. You will find no evidence of Negangard frequently switching back and forth from Brewington’s case. [Please note that the grand jury transcripts also begin at witness testimony and do not include a record of the actual beginning of the proceedings (introductions, instruction to grand jurors, etc.,) as required by law.]
STEP THREE: Fill in your name and contact information and submit the following public records request form to the Superior Court II in Dearborn County, Indiana. The form requests the entire unedited grand jury record relating to the case of the State of Indiana v Daniel Brewington. Listen to the audio and then report your findings. You’ve done it! It really is just that easy.
The above may sound like a cheesy “infomercial” but the apparent ease of the three-step process demonstrates how egregious the grand jury abuse actually is in Dearborn County, Indiana. In a hearing on August 17, 2011, Judge Hill admitted the transcripts from the audio into evidence so they are public record. If the audio matches the transcripts, it will prove that Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard omits the prosecution’s arguments to grand jurors from the official record, thus ignoring constitutional and Indiana law and giving Negangard a god-like ability before grand juries. If the audio does have the required opening of the grand jury, in the absence of the authority of any court (at least not official authority) Ruwe omitted the opening from the transcription of the grand jury while the prosecution represented the record as complete during trial. Now Hill is giving Ruwe the authority to “recreate” an official audio record that Ruwe failed to accurately transcribe from the beginning.
This is not an isolated incident as there is a pattern of abuse by Negangard involving grand jury proceedings. In an article by Mike Perleberg appearing on the website of Eagle Country News, Perleberg reported on a story involving a nurse indicted by Negangard for reckless homicide. Perleberg wrote, “After weeks of asking for the grand jury documents, Kathy Hess’ attorney requested a judge to order the state to share the documents with the defense. The judge granted that order, but it wasn’t until just days before the trial date that the documents were provided to the defense.” Negangard made Brewington a target of a grand jury investigation for what Negangard believed “over the top, um, unsubstantiated statements” against a Dearborn County judge and a professional psychological witness contracted by Negangard. Judge Brian Hill refused to continue Brewington’s trial while also failing to provide Brewington with a copy of the grand jury transcripts until less than two weeks before trial. The same transcripts that the prosecution stated Brewington could rely on for the specific charging information necessary to build a defense.
If you are a reporter interested in an easy investigation of abuses of the grand jury process, just follow the above instructions. Feel free to contact me with any questions.