Monday, August 24, 2009

Sheriff's Deputy Arrested For Solicitation While Moonlighting As Security Officer

The Star's John Tuohy has a story about a Marion County deputy sheriff who was arrested for soliciting sex from a female customer at a gas station at which he was employed to work off duty as a security officer. Tuohy writes:

A rookie Marion County Jail guard was arrested and accused of soliciting sex from a customer at a gas station where he moonlights on security duty.

Deputy Paul Wagner, 25, was charged preliminarily with soliciting prostitution and official misconduct while working at the Speedway station in the 5100 block of East Washington Street, said Col. John Layton of the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

Wagner was under surveillance by the Sheriff's Department when he offered a female customer a candy bar and Coke or a pack of cigarettes for oral sex, authorities said. Layton said the woman, who was not a prostitute but a regular customer at the gas station, had complained that Wagner had harassed her before.

The Sheriff's Department set up the sting and arrested Wagner early Saturday. Wagner was charged with official misconduct because he was wearing his sheriff's uniform at the time.

Moonlighting by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers, more than half of whom work second jobs, has come under close scrutiny over concerns the system in place now leaves the city open to safety and liability issues, as well as embarrassing or even potentially criminal instances of corruption.

At a recent budget committee hearing, the Sheriff's office was asked by Pat Andrews during public comment about the sheriff's office policy on off-duty work by deputies. Chief Deputy Kerry Forrestal confirmed that the sheriff's office receives no fee from private businesses that use sheriff's deputies for off-duty work. The deputies are allowed to use their department-issued vehicles, uniforms and equipment to perform their off-duty work. He said the office monitors the work they perform, including the number of hours they are working and for whom they are working. A deputy is barred from working more hours than they work during their full-time job during a week. Wagner had been with the department for 10 months at the time of his arrest and was suspended without pay. To the Sheriff's Office's credit, the deputy in question was busted by its own officers.


artfuggins said...

He is not a deputy. He is a corrections officer. Still bad conduct but let's get his job correctly noted.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Sorry, art, but a corrections officer working for the sheriff is classified as a deputy.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

They are hired by the sheriff; trained by the sheriff; paid by the sheriff, wear sheriff's uniforms, patches, and badges; and drive sheriff department cars.
They are NOT police officers as the Indy Red Star Rag and Fox 59 tried to convince people.

Downtown Indy said...

When an officer is hired, they should be on probation for 12 months. During that time, they should be monitored extra-closely.

I think none should allowed to work outside employment unless their work record shows them to be above whatever the minimum performance standards are.

Not that this would necessarily have prevented this one, but it could help. Any officer not performing top-notch on their regular shift shouldn't be working any outside jobs.

And one who's relatively new and thus not a lot of experience should not be doing off-duty work - period.

Unknown said...

Marion County Jail guards are Special Deputies. They don't receive the same training as a regular police officer, but they have the exact same police powers. They are law enforcement officers, which is why businesses want to hire them for security jobs.

Concerned Taxpayer, save the bashing and childish name-calling of the local news outlets until you actually get the facts straight.

Blog Admin said...


My understanding is that the Sheriff's office has no law enforcement powers, and that their main duty is management of the county jails and security of the City-County building. Though you are right about the businesses hiring them. They have cars that pretty much look like police cars, badges, guns...hell, they probably are cheaper than IMPD or State police.

indyernie said...

Like it or not MCS Deputies are sworn officers of the state.
As LEO's they can, should and will make arrests for any crime be it a city, county or state infraction.

Unknown said...

Indy Student, you are right about the department's duties, however your understanding of their police powers is not correct. MCSD-employed Special Deputies have full police powers.

artfuggins said...

IndyErnie, why are they not eligible for full membership in the FOP if they are as you have described them?

Concerned Taxpayer said...

D - "..., save the bashing and childish name-calling of the local news outlets until you actually get the facts straight."
Fox 59 Sunday night - teaser & newscast - "Police officer arrested..."
Indy Rag - Entire last paragraph used to make people think IMPD was somehow involved.

DT - IMPD officers ARE on probation for 12 months and not allowed to work part-time.

indyernie said...

Art I don't know how the union works for some but not for others. I do know that some MCSD's work for the use of the car, badge and the police power. With that they can work the private sector in security while receiving little income from the county.
The staff at the FOP is approachable. Call the FOP and ask them how it works.

trublu said...

"A deputy is barred from working more hours than they work during their full-time job during a week"   Really?  Seriously?  So Deputy Wagner could have worked 39 hours in part-time if he had worked a 40 hour work week at the jail?  79 hours probably would make for a tired jail officer.  Is that safe? And The Star still manages to drag IMPD into this...awesome.

Anonymous said...

hell, they probably are cheaper than IMPD or State police.

Yup...and you get what you pay for.

swan said...

I will be glad when sheriff's deputies are no longer allowed to moonlight, work for private enterprise, while wearing the MCSD uniforms. I feel really sorry for this woman who was harassed and treated in such an undignified manner by this deputy/corrections officer, at a gas station, and wonder how many others are being so humiliated.

Izzy said...

He may be called a deputy, but he's a jail guard. I had arrest powers once too, but I didn't claim to be a LEO.

Lets hope he uses more common sense in the future. I'm sure it was just a stupid move on his part. The uniform went to his head.

Izzy said...

@concerned taxpayer. First, your name is hilarious. It just screams right wing nutjob.

Second, I don't recall the article saying that they were police officers, at all.

Third, Special Deputy training is not the same as the full ILEA training, at all. So saying they are "trained by the sheriff" is overstating the case.

Fourth, the county pays the sheriff and it's employees, the county buys the cars and pays for the unioform allowance. Since the sheriff does not have the authority to tax "concerned taxpayers" they have no revenue stream to pay themselves. I pay them, and you pay them.

Fifth, Now excuse me while I go laugh at your Fox (I mean Fantasy) News Network to see how they are going to idolize Bush today. /sarcasm

cv said...

He did what he was not supposed to do. thanks for sharing this with me!

Security Officer CV