By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – After much wrangling over when and how it would take place, a hearing regarding the employment of former Lawrenceburg city councilman and police officer Doug Taylor will be public.
The meeting – which Lawrenceburg City Attorney Leslie Votaw has called the “Doug Taylor Termination Hearing” – could work similar to a trial with each side calling witnesses to testify. In a city notice sent out Monday, the Lawrenceburg Board of Works’ meeting – previously a closed-door executive session – will now be open to the public.
The hearing "to discuss the continuation of terminating a police officer" is scheduled for Wednesday, August 28 at 4:00 p.m.
Taylor is trying to keep his job with the City of Lawrenceburg following a 2011 court case in which he was charged with Ghost Employment and Official Misconduct. Taylor had appeared at a campaign event wearing his police uniform.
When charged, Taylor – a 20-plus year Lawrenceburg Police Department member – was placed on paid administrative leave and went to work in another city department. Taylor resigned his city council position last March as part of a deferred prosecution agreement for his criminal charges.
A Lawrenceburg Board of Works hearing about Taylor’s employment was to be a closed-door executive session. A July 11 meeting was off limits to the public, but that hearing was continued until this week.
On August 21, Taylor’s attorney, Richard Butler, filed for an injunction in Dearborn Circuit Court regarding the August 28 hearing calling it an “alleged illegal disciplinary action.” The complaint argued that city code and the Lawrenceburg Police Department’s standard operating procedures states such a disciplinary hearing must be public. The judge was also asked to consider if Taylor's hearing should be held before the complete resolution of his criminal case, as the deferred prosecution agreement is in effect through April 1, 2014.
On Monday, August 26, Judge James Humphrey issued a permanent injunction stating that the meeting is to be public.
Any action on Taylor’s employment would have to be voted on in a public meeting of the Board of Works.