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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Former Lawrence County Deputy Arrested for stealing Operation Pull Over funds

LAWRENCE COUNTY - OCTOBER 28,2023 - A former Lawrence County Deputy and D.A.R..E. officer Timothy Butcher 48, Princeton, Indiana was arrested on four counts of theft and four counts of official misconduct all charges are felonies.


Butcher's Initial Hearing is scheduled for November 21, 2023, at 1:30 pm in Lawrence County Superior Court I with Judge John Plummer presiding.


Photo: Timothy Butcher former deputy is accused of stealing Operation Pull Over funds following Indiana State Board of Accounts Audit


Butcher was arrested on Thursday by members of the Indiana State Police Special Investigation Unit and agents with the United States Department of Transportation Inspector General.


Butcher was taken to the Gibson County Jail before being transported to Lawrence County Jail. Butcher's mug shot has not been released to the public as of Saturday at noon on the county sheriff's department's inmate search.


The investigation spanned over two years as the Indiana State Police was asked to investigate the case. The Lawrence County Zephyr was the only news outlet to report the Indiana State Board of Accounts findings of the audit in May 2023. A copy of the audit is in the news story below.


Butcher retired from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department under former Sheriff Mike Branham, who was supposed to supervise Butcher's control over the funds that are distributed by the Indiana Justice Institute.


There were no checks and balances at the time by Lawrence County Sheriff's Department or in the Lawrence County Auditor Office under Jody Edwards term as Auditor to prevent the theft from occurring.


LAWRENCE COUNTY - MAY 22, 2023 - A special investigation of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department was conducted for January 1, 2017, to July 31, 2021, by the Indiana State Board of Accounts.



The audit findings were released on April 25, 2023, reports that retired Lawrence County Deputy Tim Butcher was a grant administrator was over the grants received by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department for years 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021.


As grant administrator, officer Butcher was responsible for compliance for all state and federal regulations regarding the federal grants. Butcher retired on July 23, 2021, and a new grant administrator examined the grant activity under Butcher at the request of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.


Retired Lawrence County Sheriff Department Officer Tim Butcher


The examination revealed discrepancies in grant administration on the part of Butcher.


The Indiana State Board of Accounts was notified by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department of the discrepancies in accordance with Indiana Code 5-11-1-27.


The Indiana State Board of Accounts examined the records and reviewed the accounting of the federal grants and determined the compensation paid to Butcher not properly supported and was not intended purposes of the grant.




Here is a link to the full audit by Indiana State Board of Accounts:


The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department received pass through grants from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. The purpose of the 2017 and 2018 grants was to reimburse the department for overtime salary of traffic enforcement officers and minimal administration pay. Regular duty hours were not to reimbursed by the federal grant.


The primary purpose of the 2020 and 2021 federal grants was to perform saturation patrols will include Monday - Sunday from the hours where it was known to have alcohol related crashes.


These patrol times will include Monday - Sunday from the hours of 10:00 pm to 4:00 am. The grant agreements required the hours worked and activity as a result of those hours, to be documented on Officer Activity Sheets. The OAS and copies of tickets written, were required to be retained by the grant administrator.


During the four years Butcher was grant administrator, he received $42,210.94 in gross compensation from the federal grants through the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department. Butcher was not the grant administrator in 2019 and did not receive any compensation from the federal grants in 2019.


In addition to the gross compensation paid to Butcher, Lawrence County paid $2,617.06 in Social Security taxes, $612.08 in Medicare taxes and $1,266.30 to police retirement on Butcher's behalf in relation to the gross compensation.


The compensation from the federal grants was in addition to Butcher's normal compensation as an Lawrence County Sheriff's Department police officer.


The results of the investigation determined the compensation paid to Butcher was not properly supported and was not for the intended purposes of the federal grants.



The Indiana State Board of Accounts requested Butcher reimburse Lawrence County for the unsupported compensation of the federal grants in the amount of $46,110.11 and for the costs of the special investigation of the federal grants of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.


The Indiana State Board of Accounts have requested Butcher to reimburse the State of Indiana $40,257 for the special investigation.


An investigation by the Indiana State Police is currently underway.


Below is Lawrence County Sheriff Greg Day response to the audit findings:




Lawrence County Zephyr will continue to monitor developments of this story.


For breaking news, news and information subscribe to lczephyr.org or like/follow us on the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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