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Insurance to pay sheriff settlement

County will get bill for deductible, EEO monitor

June 24, 2009 | 08:27 AM

Following a joint executive session Monday evening, the Harrison County Board of Commissioners and County Council held a joint special public meeting in which their counsel for the Sheriff G. Michael Deatrick sexual harassment case, Jeremy M. Dilts, made a public statement concerning the litigation.

Dilts said no money has been requested from the county to fund or reimburse any of the agreed upon amount of $375,500 for dispatcher Deana Decker and former dispatcher Melissa Graham.

The county will have to pay only the insurance deductible as well as for an EEO monitor, but it has not been requested to do so as of yet.

In addition to the settlement, all employees of the sheriff's department are to take part in an EEO seminar that shall be no less than two hours of instruction. Three seminars will be held before May 2011.

Dilts said again, nothing has been asked monetarily of the county for the seminars, but it will be invoiced for the monitoring program "when the time comes."

Emphasizing that the sheriff, the council and commissioners deny any civil or criminal wrongdoing or liability, Dilts said the county had been prepared to take the case through trial. He also said that, to his knowledge, no personal assets of the sheriff will be involved in the settlement.

"He's insured under the same liability," Dilts said. "He receives the benefit of that liability."

Commissioner Terry Miller said he was pleased with the settlement and that the county was following the legal advice given.

"That's what they instructed us to do," he said.

Miller said, "You're taking a chance" to continue the case through a trial.

"It was better to just go ahead and settle it," he said.

Following the joint executive session, the council held its regular meeting and unanimously approved $5 million from three different funds for the government facility project at the old hospital.

The $13 million to $15 million government complex will transform the two medical office buildings and the newest wing of the old hospital into government office space.

The total approved Monday night included $2 million out of the cumulative capital development fund, $2 million out of the Harrison County Economic Development fund and $1 million out of the cumulative courthouse fund.

Another $1 million will be taken out of the county's community fund and the bulk of the project ($9 million) will be paid for by the Harrison County Community Foundation. The county intends to pay the figure back to the Foundation.

The council also heard a request from the commissioners for just more than $391,000 for Harrison County's portion of the Milltown bridge project.

Commissioner James Goldman said a past agreement with Crawford County led to the payment breakdown of 60 percent for Harrison and 40 percent for Crawford. He said construction on the bridge is scheduled to begin July 1.

The additional appropriation, which the council will vote on at its next meeting, will be the final amount of the county's commitment to the project, Goldman said.

The council's next meeting will be Monday, July 13, at 7 p.m.

  1. print email
    What a crock!!
    June 24, 2009 | 09:33 AM

    Am I to assume the Sheriff(I use the word loosely) keeps his job???

    Francis Hughes
  2. print email
    June 24, 2009 | 10:33 AM

    I will back the sheriff up 100% until he is proven guilty

    Elizabeth, IN.
  3. print email
    June 24, 2009 | 12:54 PM

    Does the county agree to spend $375,000 when there is no wrongdoing?

    Taxpayer and registered voter!!!!!
  4. print email
    June 24, 2009 | 01:55 PM


  5. print email
    He's not gone yet
    June 24, 2009 | 09:12 PM

    REMEMBER THIS WHEN THE ELECTIONS ROLL AROUND PEOPLE! He wont stay at home, h'e as brassy as they come. It's up the the voters.

  6. print email
    Support Mike Deatrick
    June 25, 2009 | 03:49 AM

    I support Mike Deatrick 100% too. He has always been an upstanding man in this county. I just feel that if the commissioners would of been more supportive of him in the beginning instead of asking him to step down, this situation would not of gotten to this point. There is no proof here. It is one party's word against another. I, for one, believe Mike Deatrick.

    #1 supporter of Mike Deatrick
  7. print email
    Mike Dearick
    June 25, 2009 | 03:59 AM

    I have known Mike Deatrick for a very long time. Him and his wife have always been good friends of ours. Like they have did with so many families in this county, they have supported us during some of the roughest times of our lives. Mostly during the deaths of our loved ones. I ask those of you that have been touched by the support of Mike and Joyce Deatrick to support them now. Pray for his recovery from his recent illness so he may return full-time as our Sheriff. Those of you that have not needed that support, I hope you never do. But if that time comes, please know you have the best in Mike to help you during that time of need.

    Forever a Mike Deatrick Friend.
  8. print email
    The Next Law Suit
    June 25, 2009 | 04:03 AM

    I still say the next law suit should be Mike Deatrick vs. Harrison County. I can't believe the commissioners have let this go this far. If anyone deserves that $375,500 it is Mike himself. Mike, I hope you get well soon and can get back to the running the Harrison County Jail.

  9. print email
    June 25, 2009 | 09:47 AM

    The innocent need never to pay out money to conceal their guilt.

  10. print email
    just happy for the girls
    June 25, 2009 | 01:09 PM

    now that they can get the money they deserve and move on. its a horibble thing that has happned to theme and a real shame, lets just hope Mike stays at home untill his term is over!!

  11. print email
    good man to work for
    June 25, 2009 | 04:19 PM

    i used to work for the sheriff and i just wanted to put out there that he is a good man to work for. i wish him the best with his recovery and i cant wait to see him back to work!

  12. print email
    100% for Mike Deatrick
    June 26, 2009 | 07:34 AM

    I think all this talk has been nothing but a witch hunt to slur a good man's name. I hope in the end, Mike Deatrick sues the girls, the county, and everyone else out there smearing his name (and those people know who they are). He should get twice as much as those girls and I hope when the dust settles, he gets back to his job protecting and supporting the people of Harrison County.

  13. print email
    June 26, 2009 | 10:56 AM

    same here, I also worked with him. He is a good man. And if you think people pay out only when guilty you have been missing alot in this day & time. Alot of big companys falsely accused have pd out just to keep their cost & time down of defending themselves in ridiculous lawsuits mostly because its one word against another ... WAKE UP PEOPLE! too many people in this country are lawsuit crazy for MONEY.

    another ex co worker
  14. print email
    Ramsey resident
    June 26, 2009 | 10:08 PM

    It is not the first time it has happened. He needs to go, then hold people accountable for thier actions. He holds every one else for thier actions ...

  15. print email
    June 30, 2009 | 12:28 PM

    How much is the county's deductible? It mentions the county will have to pay it but the writer failed to follow up on how much that will be. I think that's pertinent information for the county to know! Most of the settlement could be that deductible if it's a large deductible.

  16. print email
    Experience, cognition, and the power of money
    June 30, 2009 | 04:50 PM

    I agree. Why wasn't the deductible amount published in this article? Does it really matter? We certainly know what President O'Bama has stolen from us, our businesses, and our children to try and hide government failures. Yet, what power did we have to stop it?

    Having been a victim of sexual assault and harrassment myself and a trained volunteer for the Center for Women and Families, I can say this: The last thing most women (young and old alike) want to go through is everyone knowing they were sexually harrassed or assualted. You would rather hide under the covers away from the world and the shame exuding from within. That is, until you realize there is nothing for you to be ashamed of and that you have to dig deep inside and find the strength to do something to prevent other women experiencing the same personal trauma that you have.

    These aren't the first women I've heard of making these accusations against Sheriff Deatrick. It's easy for those who haven't experienced sexual harrasssment and sexual assualt or for those who think their loved ones and friends haven't experienced it to turn their heads and deny the possibility of sexual harrassment, particularly at the hands of those in positions of power. I won't say either way whether I think Sheriff Deatrick is guilty of said crime. However, I can look at the fact that these women are not the first ones I've heard of making such claims against him over the past several years.

    I can look upon my experience and see that all these women would likely not be conspiring to put their most personal and private being into the limelight for money. If I was a plaintiff in this case, I would donate a large part of the settlement to victims (women and children). I wonder if that would leave tongues speechless and cognition abilities churning? I would suggest that the alleged vicitims seriously consider the power of their actions and what justice could truly be done with this money.

    I also find it compelling that a civil insurance settlement was finally agreed upon shortly after the case was picked up tby the U.S. Justice Dept. Isn't the criminal investigation still underway? The eyes of all will remain watchful. - Tonya Bays

    Tonya Bays
  17. print email
    where is the proof that anything happened? he said , they said !
    July 02, 2009 | 09:22 AM

    we the people have seen nothing,to say he did anything wrong! why is that? don't we have the right to see what we are paying for? oh i forgot the insurance is paying for. if someone would have done those thing to me the only thing i would want is for the person to be behind bars,job or no job. and now that they get their money,how is that they both still work for the county? shouldn't that be changed too? or i guess you can get 2 checks from the county no matter the cost to other hard working people that do the job and put up with more crap than most. look at the officers of this county they might as well work for free,because i'm sure it feels like it, because they are on call 24/7 an you can do the math it does not even come close to what those girls are going to get. look at everything they put up with the public,and there are some twisted people out there . every stop could be their last. keep that in mind the next time you vote on someone to be in charge of this countys money. last but not least no wonder everyone wants to be sheriff of harrison county,it must be a gravy job? ... people need to talk to there friends to make a better choice next time,or many more lives could be lost. and this county has lost enuff!!!!!!!!!!

    still waiting on proof
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