Monday, February 01, 2010

Houchins Linked To Willoughby Case

FOX 59 News' Russ McQuaid previously broke a story on how a woman sentenced to 110 years in prison for hiring a hit man to murder her husband got her sentence reduced to 18 years and was recently released from prison after her father, Harrison Epperly, contributed $29,000 to Carl Brizzi's campaign committee and another $2,500 to his chief deputy, David Wyser. McQuaid reported tonight on how Epperly used Perry Township Constable Roy Houchins, whose office has been the subject of a federal probe into a badge-selling scheme by his office, on two different occasions in recent years as a paid escort after a Marion County judge signed orders allowing her to leave prison to attend the funerals of her son and her brother. Sheriff Frank Anderson's office said it refused to provide an escort for Willoughby after being contacted by her attorney, who offered to pay for the escort. According to McQuaid, Epperly made contributions totalling $2,500 to Houchins after securing the escort service for his daughter. A judge would not agree sign the order unless she was released into the custody of a law enforcement agency to attend the funerals. A former deputy constable in Houchins' office, Michael Sherfick, has already pleaded guilty to bribery charges and is cooperating with an investigation being run out of the Justice Department's Public Integrity section in Washington.


karma09 said...

AI, that would mean Epperly throws his money around to local Republican law enforcement officials in order to get special treatment for his convicted-for-murder daughter!

It's a good thing Brizzi and Wyser's similar behavior with Epperly was merely coincidental, and it would be tawdry to suggest otherwise.

Unknown said...

If there is any joy out of what appears to be the single biggest county-wide public corruption case in US history, it is watching these previously arrogant, secure jerks run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

If I see Brizzi any more wide-eyed I will swear his mother was married to her brother.

Keep up the delicoius work, Counselor Welsh!

M Theory said...

Evidently, McQuaid has no plans to let up either.

Rock on FOX 59 News!

I find myself watching the news on TV again!

Marycatherine Barton said...

And may McQuaid's ratings raise the roof! As a result, I hope Indy does not lose him to a different market.

Unknown said...

Does anyone know if the judge's order specially released Willoughy to the township constable? That would be a highly unusual order?

karma09 said...

As a party to the case, did the Prosecutor's Office receive notice of this special treatment, and voice any position at all?

Knowing the ultimate outcome, undoing a Democrat administration's jury victory and a Republican judge's heavy sentence, they probably didn't care (or even suggested Houchins' office as an acceptable escort service, given one of MCPO's unit supervisors is also one of Brizzi's clique-members and employees).

In any case, it appears the only entity who said "no" was the Democrat Sheriff's office.

Another sparkling moment in MCPO history.

Bill said...

Karma, I agree. The MCSO has not been in good shape since Joe McAtee was running the show.Joe had his issues, but he ran a good honest shop. Maybe it's time to get back to Republican values in the Sheriff race.Tom John wants Fishburn to be the next Sheriff.Scott Newman has been introduceing Fishburn at meetings.Maybe he is our man.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I would question that the Sheriff can say "No" to a court order or he should be praised for doing so. Like it or not, we in the legal system have to comply with court orders even when we don't like them. Instead of not complying, Sheriff Anderson should have had his attorneys file objections with the court order instead of doing the contemptuous act of ignoring it.

While I can understand the reasoning for not letting a convicted murderer out for any funeral, the fact is Sheriff Anderson refuses to comply with court orders to let people who are not even convicted out of his jails to attend family funerals. I have a client who was awaiting trial on a DUI. He got a court order to get out for a few hours to attend his mother's funeral. Sheriff Anerson refused to comply with the order and the man missed the funeral. This is just one of many occasions when Sheriff Anderson has flouted court orders.

Don't praise Sheriff Anderson's actions. He thinks he is above the law, pure and simple.

Paul K. Ogden said...


The fact that Tom John wants Fishburn and Scott Newman is introducing him at meetings is pretty much a reason to not want him.

Hmmm, what happened last time we nominated someone who had no experience in Republican politics? You really want another Ballard in the Sheriff's Office?

karma09 said...

Paul O., point taken on the Sheriff, the email communication on McQuaid's reports between the Judge and defense attorney appears to state the Sheriff simply has no man-power to do this as a general proposition, and the Judge's response seems to accept this as sufficient.

My larger point is whether MCPO, and Wyser or Brizzi specifically, ever voiced approval or objection to the request -- essentially, whether they were shepharding the defendant through more hurdles than just the sentence sell out. should be in the Court's pleadings and paperwork.

Even the total absence of any information on MCPO's position would be telling about their over-all diligence, or in the converse, the Court's failure to inform them (if that was in fact the case).

Questions I'd like to have answered.

Gary R. Welsh said...

When Julia Carson died, her family tried to get Jamie Carson released to police custody for a day to attend her funeral. In that case, the Department of Corrections denied the request. I believe the family even tried to get Daniels to intervene and he said no.