Ex-sheriff’s lawyer posts defense video online

(WISH Photo)

GREENFIELD, Ind. (AP) —€” An attorney has posted a 10-minute video on YouTube in which he aims to clear the name of a central Indiana sheriff who was accused of using public funds to pay personal bills.

A special prosecutor ultimately declined to pursue charges against former Hancock County Sheriff Bud Gray, and the city of Greenfield agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit Gray filed over the investigation that led to his arrest in 2010.

The video mixes portions of a deposition by Greenfield’s police chief and commentary from Gray’s attorney, Richard Cook.

“Obviously, the objective was for people to understand the rest of the story,” Cook told the Daily Reporter. “I always figure that evidence speaks louder than anybody spinning or talking about it.”

City attorney Tom Billings said the city’s insurance company decided on the lawsuit settlement to avoid further legal fees and that the settlement didn’t indicate any wrongdoing in the police investigation.

Billings said the video posted to YouTube doesn’t provide an accurate portrayal.

“Especially when you only pick certain questions and take them out of context,” he said.

Gray lost his re-election bid in the May 2010 Republican primary and signed over his day-to-day duties in the county just east of Indianapolis following his August 2010 arrest. He retained his title, pay and benefits through the end of that year.

A State Board of Accounts audit of Sheriff’s Department records during 2007-2010 found some $42,000 in public money was mishandled, including about $26,000 in travel expenditures that were not documented properly with receipts.

Gray also was accused of obstructing justice by threatening to harm a fellow officer who would have testified against him. Cook said the Greenfield police found no evidence to support those allegations.

Cook said money was never at the heart of Gray’s lawsuit.

“The objective of this is to try to shed some light on what the facts were regarding Bud, and I think trying to re-establish … his good name in the law enforcement community that he had before this,” Cook said.

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