Clark County Sheriff Daniel Rodden indicted on federal charges
Clark County Sheriff Daniel Rodden has been indicted on several federal charges in connection with alleged incidents involving a prostitute, according to court documents.
Tuesday, July 29th 2014, 12:04 pm EDT
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind,. (WDRB) -- Clark County Sheriff Daniel Rodden has been indicted on several federal charges in connection with alleged incidents involving a prostitute, according to court documents.
WDRB News has obtained a copy of the indictment, which indicates Rodden faces seven counts of making a false statement and one count of counseling the destruction of evidence in a federal investigation.
Authorities allege that on May 29, 2013, Rodden met with a prostitute in a room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, where he engaged in oral sex with that person for $300. He also allegedly provided that individual with a uniform shirt and other clothing bearing the insignia of the Clark County Sheriff's Department.
Federal authorities say they have been investigating this case for the past couple of months. Rodden appeared in Federal District Court in Indianapolis at 3 p.m. Tuesday where the judge entered a not guilty on his behalf.
"It is a sad day -- it is a sad day for Clark County," said Joseph Hogsett, the U.S. Attorney for Indiana's southern district. "It is a sad day for all elected and appointed officials who do their best to adhere to the high standards expected of those of us who serve the public. These types of charges and this type of indictment is not, frankly, one of the better parts of my job. But if elected and public officials do not understand that they will be held accountable if they violate the public trust, then the public is diminished."
Rodden was interviewed by the FBI three times, but denied knowing or calling the prostitute when questioned.
The indictment says Rodden also asked the prostitute to get rid of the law enforcement credentials and the shirt in May of this year.
According to Prosecutor Bradley Blackington, their investigation began "maybe two months ago. The activities – some of the activities alleged in indictment -- occurred a year ago, but the FBI and our office didn’t become aware of them until about two months ago, at which point we started the investigation that led to this indictment."
Blackington said the investigation became "linked with Sheriff Rodden that involved prostitution and wire fraud, and Mr. Rodden was one of the people that was alleged to have patronized the prostitute in question."
Blackington couldn't comment on whether or not the informant is cooperating, but did not rule out additional indictments.
"It's possible, you never know," he said.
So far, Rodden faces only federal charges.
"This has been a federal investigation only," Blackington said. "Under federal law it’s not a crime, per se, to solicit a prostitute or to engage in prostitution. That's a state court. In federal court, the closest crime is enticing someone to cross state lines to engage in prostitution. So charging him with soliciting a prostitute is not something we can do under federal law."
Authorities say Rodden made false statements denying that he had given an official deputy's badge and credentials to the prostitute, that he had had a sexual relationship with the prostitute, that he paid the prostitute for the sexual contact and that he had that person's phone number.
Additionally, Rodden is accused of telling the prostitute to "get rid" of the Clark County Sheriff's Department law enforcement credentials he gave that person -- items that were, at that time, considered evidence in a federal investigation.
Rodden is still the official sheriff of Clark County.
"That's the way the presumption of innocence works," Blackington said.
According to the Clark County Sheriff's Department website, Rodden, 60, was elected sheriff in 2007, and has been married 29 years.
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