Danny Tanoos

Tribune-Star/Austen Leake file photo

Former Vigo County Schools Superintendent Danny Tanoos, shown here at a previous school board meeting, now has an April 12 trial date set in Marion County on three bribery charges.

A new jury trial date of Sept. 20 has been set for former Vigo County schools superintendent Danny Tanoos in his bribery case pending in Marion County.

During a remote hearing conducted today by Magistrate Ann Flannelly in Marion County Superior Court, Tanoos, his attorneys and the prosecutor Daniel Harrison agreed that a fall jury trial was preferred, and they requested a firm date in the fall.

Flannelly scheduled the trial to cover two to three days. She also noted that the city-county building in Indianapolis should be open to host jury trials at that point. Wednesday’s hearing lasted about three minutes.

The case was last before a judge in November, when it was noted that trial had been placed on hold through mid-January due to the public health emergency order. At that hearing, an April 12 trial date was set .

In November, defense attorney James Voyles told the court the Tanoos defense team was reviewing a large number of FBI reports received as the result of a deposition of an FBI agent involved in the investigation.

Three counts of bribery were filed in September 2018. The state alleges Tanoos solicited concert tickets and dinners from a vendor in exchange for recommendations the vendor, Marion County-based Energy Systems Group LLC, be contracted for school system projects.

A mid-case appeal filed in June 2019 put the criminal case on hold, but the Indiana Court of Appeals rules the case should proceed, and in March 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court declined to take up the appeal, allowing the case to resume in the trial court.

Tanoos faces one count of bribery as a Class C felony. The penalty range is two to eight years in prison with an advisory sentence of 4 years.

He also faces two counts of bribery as a Level 5 felony. The penalty range is one to six years in prison with an advisory sentence of 3 years.

Tanoos has maintained his innocence.

In late January, the Vigo County School Corp. board approved an out-of-court settlement with Energy Systems Group, or ESG, the vendor with which the district had done more than $40 million worth of business.

As part of that settlement, the school corporation receives $1.25 million. In addition, ESG will forgive $300,000 in outstanding fees.

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Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.

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