Deatrick case goes to special grand jury
Nancy Jacobs, a special prosecutor from Switzerland County assigned to the case of allegations of sexual harassment against Harrison County Sheriff G. Michael Deatrick, filed a motion last Tuesday in Harrison Superior Court that a grand jury be convened.
Superior Court Judge Roger D. Davis signed the motion, and the special grand jury is to meet Oct. 30 at 9 a.m.
The grand jury is to be presented with evidence from a criminal investigation into allegations made by dispatcher Deana Decker and former dispatcher Missie Graham that Deatrick touched them inappropriately and made sexual comments to them. The two women also alleged in a federal employment discrimination complaint that days after the allegations came out, Deatrick and his wife, Joyce, showed up at the Harrison County Justice Center and that the sheriff held a handgun while looking at them in a threatening manner through a window that separates the dispatch office from the main lobby of the justice center.
On March 12 of this year, former Dallmann System technician Phillip R. Miller told Indiana State Police Det. David Mitchell he was sent to the sheriff’s department on June 20, 2008, where he met with a male correction officer to transfer data from Camera 13 to a Western Digital hard drive. Police believe the copied hard drive may have contained video or captured images that would have shown the alleged incident in the justice center.
Jacobs’ request says the Indiana State Police has investigated the criminal offenses alleged to have been committed by Deatrick and have documented their results in two case reports.
The request goes on to request that Jacobs’ jurisdiction include the investigation and prosecution of all acts of potentially criminal conduct documented in the ISP case reports regardless of the identity of the alleged perpetrator of said acts. In addition, Jacobs believes the investigation has revealed ‘potentially criminal conduct by individual(s) other than Harrison County Sheriff Mike Deatrick.’
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reviewed the women’s discrimination complaints and later, along with the U.S. Justice Department, sued Deatrick and Harrison County. That action was settled in June by the county for $375,500.