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March 1, 2013

Former Brazil police chief sentenced

Harrison to do 200 hours of service

TERRE HAUTE — A former Brazil police chief has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to official misconduct for pocketing federal grant money intended for child safety seats.

Terry Harrison, 48, Brazil, appeared Thursday in Vigo Superior Court 6 where Judge Michael Lewis entered the charge as a class-A misdemeanor and sentenced Harrison to one year on informal probation. During that probation period, Harrison is to complete the 200 hours of community service. He is also to pay court costs of $171 and a $100 public defender fee within 180 days.

Lewis told Harrison he could have the community service transferred from Vigo to Clay County.

The case had been venued from Clay to Vigo County and Lewis was appointed special judge. Putnam County Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter was appointed as special prosecutor in the case.

Harrison was originally charged with failure to deposit public funds, a class-B felony, and official misconduct, a class-D felony.

The plea agreement dismissed the B-felony charge in exchange for the guilty plea to the class-D felony. The prosecutor made no recommendation regarding the sentence.

Defense Attorney Geoffrey Creason said that Harrison has already paid restitution in the case.

Harrison, who is no longer employed by the Brazil Police Department, was arrested Jan. 4, 2011, after an Indiana State Police investigation showed that in July 2008, during Harrison’s tenure as police chief, he allegedly received $2,000 in grant money from the Indiana University Automotive Safety Program. ISP says he allegedly cashed the check and never deposited it into the official government accounts for the city of Brazil.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com.

 

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