Rodino target of police probe

An Elkhart County employee is being investigated for allegations of inappropriate sexual activity, according to an anonymous source.

Posted on Nov. 13, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Elkhart County Commissioner Terry Rodino was the target of an Elkhart Police Department investigation, according to a source with knowledge of the inquiry, and the Allen County prosecutor has been asked to look into the case.

Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill issued a press release Monday saying he had filed a request for a special prosecutor to look into an Elkhart police case involving an unnamed person affiliated with Elkhart County government.

“The allegations identify an individual affiliated with Elkhart County government although the allegations do not apparently involve the individual’s Elkhart County government affiliation,” said Hill’s press release.

Hill’s press release didn’t detail the nature of the police inquiry, saying only that it stemmed from “an incident alleged to have occurred on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in the city of Elkhart.”

The source, though, in addition to saying Rodino was the target, said the investigation stemmed from allegations of inappropriate sexual activity. The source asked to remain anonymous.

Rodino, who won re-election to his third term on the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday, did not immediately return a call Monday seeking comment. He ran unopposed.

Hill’s press release said Elkhart police turned over the investigation to his office last Friday. Hill’s office subsequently submitted a request for a special prosecutor to Elkhart Circuit Court Judge Terry C. Shewmaker.

The special prosecutor would “review the investigation and determine what charges, if any should be filed,” the press release said.

Shewmaker granted the request from Hill’s office Monday and issued an order appointing Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Karen Richards as special prosecutor, subject to her formal acceptance. The order cites Indiana Code 33-39-1-6 (b)(3), which states a special prosecutor may be appointed if a court finds that the move is necessary to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

If Richards accepts the appointment, all prosecutorial decisions and information would be handled through her office. Her office was closed when Hill’s press release was issued and she could not be reached for comment.

Affadavits in an unrelated court matter provided to The Elkhart Truth in 2010 alleged that Rodino, who operates a pallet company, had made inappropriate sexual advances on women. Rodino, through his lawyer, rejected the allegations at the time.

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