Taxpayers Duped

The following concerns were presented orally and in writing to the Jefferson County Council at their September 9,2011 meeting. However, the council had already moved to succumb to Mr. Armand’s demands for reimbursement of his legal fees rendering our presentation moot. Since the local paper did not bother to cover the meeting, this action was never reported or openly disclosed to the public … until now.

  9/13/2011 The Jefferson County Council is Addressed

Mr. Armand, as administrator of the Jefferson County Health Dept. is granted limited authority to enter private or public property under Indiana 410 IAC 6-10-4 [1] and the Jefferson County Ordinance. However, nothing in the State of Indiana or County Health code grants unfettered access to anyone, including Mr. Armand to enter a private home without the permission of the owner or a warrant.

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Whether or not Mr. Armand’s assertions are within the limits of his authority, his actions are considered an act under color of law [2] since he purports to be conducting himself in the course of official duties In regards to his official capacity, Mr. Armand used his position to commit a crime when he illegally entered and removed blueprints from the private home/pole barn he was allegedly inspecting and then lied to the authorities about his actions.

It is the Grand Jury’s responsibility to safeguard individuals from unfounded prosecutions and to protect the general public from crime and criminals. The Grand Jury Indicted Mr. Armand with the crimes of Obstruction of Justice, a class D Felony under Indiana Code 35-44-3-4  and False Informing, a class B Misdemeanor under Indiana Code 35-44-2-2, based on the State Police investigation.

In the court Order (Exhibit E) dismissing both charges, genuine issues of material fact are acknowledged by the judge, yet he made a conclusion of law without citation to the proper authority. The judge is not in a position to speculate on what the State Police may or may not have known about Mr. Armand’s position, his alleged authority, or if his actions fall within the scope of his duties. These issues are reserved for a jury to decide.

Failed Prosecution

Mr. Armand was charged with making a false record, that is: A FALSE STATEMENT, to mislead the State Police about whether he entered a barn with permission. In the Order to Dismiss, the judge plays a word game by stating …Mr. Armand is charged with making a false record. A statement is not a record. Mr. Armand therefore cannot be found guilty of the crime … Poof, without any citation what-so-ever, both  charges are arbitrarily dismissed.

The prosecution could have amended the charges at anytime, but due to the cost of continued litigation of a low level felony, they neglected to do so. Now, more than 3 years and $38,000 later, we the taxpayers are expected to simply reimburse Mr. Armand for his criminal actions on a failed prosecution, with no case law precedent.

 Attorney General Opinion

Contrary to email correspondence from Mr. Goering the 110629_Colusi-Expenses and the last Council meeting as reported in the Madison Courier, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has NOT rendered an Opinion [3] on Mr. Armand’s case.

In fact, there is only one case that references IC 36-1-17-3 under which Mr. Armand is claiming reimbursement under and it relates to an act that was within the scope of official duties of the employee. The dismissed charges do NOT equate to an acquittal and do NOT exonerate Mr. Armand and therefore, does not obligate this council to even consider his request for reimbursement legal fees and cost.

By misrepresenting the existence of an Attorney General Opinion, Mr. Armand has again violated the public’s trust. This is serious misconduct, which cannot be ignored or rewarded in more than $38,000 reimbursed legal fees, whether reasonable or customary.

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Download (PDF, Unknown)

[1] The County has authority to regulate Health Department Rule 410 IAC 6-8.1.  Such rules promulgate from Indiana Code 16-19-3-5. However, the County only has authority over Commercial endeavors relating to Public Health.

[2] Color of law n. the appearance of an act being performed based upon legal right or enforcement of statute, when in reality no such right exists in violation of Federal Law (citation). (An outstanding example is found in the civil rights acts which penalize law enforcement officers for violating civil rights by making arrests “under color of law” of peaceful protestors or to disrupt voter registration. It could apply to phony traffic arrests in order to raise revenue from fines or extort payoffs to forget the ticket.)

[3] Advisory & Opinions

At every level of state government, elected officials do their best to make intelligent, well-considered decisions. To do so, they must rely on sound legal advice—often provided by the Attorney General’s Advisory Division. Large state agencies and individual officials alike depend on the Advisory Division’s counsel. The division also publishes official opinions related to significant state issues.

The Advisory Division does not make or recommend policy. Rather, it guides officials in their efforts to understand specific state statutes, policies and procedures.

The Attorney General’s law clients for whom he provides legal advice are the statewide elected officials, state legislators, state agencies and the 92 county prosecutors.

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