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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Oolitic Town Council in a 3 - 1 vote places their town marshal on administrative leave

OOLITIC - JANUARY 8, 2023 - In a 3 -1 vote the Ooltic Town Council placed Oolitic Town Marshal James Harrington on paid administrative leave Monday afternoon.


Several people attended the meeting. The only town council member Steve Kerr voted against Harrington's paid administrative leave.


President Brenda Corey, Johnny "Bob" Dillion and Jon Broglin voted to place Harrington on leave. There is one vacant town council seat.



Photo: An Oolitic resident reacts with displeasure following the vote at Oolitic Town Hall Monday afternoon to place Oolitic Town Marshal on paid leave


Following the vote town council president Brenda Corey read the following statement below:




Photo: Statement read by town council Brenda Corey following Monday's vote


In a rare move town council did not allow public comment on Steve Kerr's motion to allow public comments to allow the public to address the town council.


Kerr's motion died due to lack of a second.


Photo: Oolitic Town Council president Brenda Corey leaves the meeting after voting to place the town marshal on leave


Kerr was the only town council member who voted to keep the K-9 program, afer President Brenda Corey, Johnny "Bob" Dillion and Jon Broglin voted to end the K-9 Program in a December meeting.


Kerr attempted to introduce a letter from Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II supporting the K-9 program. Kerr's fellow council members silenced his pleading.





The issue of administrative leave comes after Marshal Harrington used his K-9 during traffic stop a couple days ago when the occupants of a vehicle had a previous drug arrests.


Harrington called a town council member to seek permission to use his K-9.


" After consulting a town board member I was told to use my dog at a traffic stop on January 2, 2024 in the Town of Oolitic," said Town Town Marshal James Harrington.


The town council member told Harrington " We did not told tell you stop using the K-9 we just did not support the K-9 program,"


This comes after the town council voted to end the K-9 program back in December 2023.



The Oolitic Town Council told the news media they could not make any public comments or any statements to the news media as they do not comment on personnel matters following the meeting.


The Lawrence County Zephyr talked to Town Marshal Harrington following the meeting for his reaction.


Photo: James Harrington was sworn in December 2021 replacing longtime Town Marshal Jon Jefferies


Harrington maintains that town council members started targeting him after he made allegations about town employees and a town council member consuming alcoholic beverages while using town equipment and on town property.


" I know I did not make an arrest, but if I had I probably would have been fired. I realize that is not a very good excuse," said James Harrington following Monday's vote.


The Lawrence County Zephyr has not used the employees names because no arrest for public intoxication or Operating While Intoxication arrests were made,; these are only allegations.


Photo: Ooltiic Marshal's Office, Oolitic Volunteer Fire Department, Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police, and IU Lifeline Ambulance responded to Oolitic Town Hall after a town employee was tasered


However, in October a town employee made threats to the Marshal's office following the arrest of another town employee the same night.


That employee was intoxicated at the time and caused injury to the town marshal who had to seek medical treatment due to injury to his leg. The town employee was tasered and taken by ambulance to IU Health Bedford Hospital, according to Marshal Harrington.


During this event town council member Jon Broglin arrived at town hall to instruct Harrington that he would not arrest the town employee.


There were no arrest of either the town employee or town council member Broglin that evening.


According to Harrington the information was forwarded to Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II.


The Lawrence County Zephyr will be placing a formal request of the body camera footage of the incident at the Oolitic Town Hall back in October.


The Oolitic Town Council will meet on January 10, 2024 in Executive session at 5:00 pm this meeting is not open to the public at the town hall.


A full video of the meeting is available on the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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


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