Forgery charges in cases against two former Vandalia Police officers were officially dropped on Monday, August 28 by Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Carroz.
Carroz filed the dismissals on the two cases “without prejudice.”
Former officers William Jones and William Parker had previously been charged with five counts of forgery relating to several occurrences where time sheets didn’t match radio logs. The discrepancies were learned in an independent investigation by Vandalia Detective/Captain Donald Elkins. Elkins opened the internal affairs investigation under the direction of Vandalia Police Chief Christopher Hammann.
The findings of the investigation came as a surprise to Vandalia’s former Interim Police Chief Justin Landis, who is now serving as a deputy with the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office.
Landis said he always checked things for validity before signing off on time sheets that also required a signature of another city official (i.e. city administrator or the mayor.)
Landis also said he’s never heard of any offi-cer being charged with a forgery crime during his 20 years of law enforcement for the officer’s time sheet not matching radio logs.
He added that the two won’t always match due to what an officer may be working on at the time.
The former interim police chief also said he was never contacted during Elkins’ investigation.
Attorney Blake Markus, from Carson & Coil, P.C., said his office will be looking into possible civil options.
Jones and Parker also filed claim with the Equal Employement Opportunity Commission (EEOC) earlier in the year when they were terminated by the City of Vandalia. They are still awaiting a possible “Right to Sue” letter from the commission.
In the meantime, several Vandalia citizens are expressing their concerns with the department with a petition drive on Change.org with the focus on removing the current police chief for Vandalia.
The group has 156 of a 200 signatures goal needed to make a formal presentation to Vandalia Mayor Ralph Kuda.