April 03, 2000 09:45am
Cop Accused of Taking Sex Favors, Alcohol on Job
by: Janet Prasad
(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A grand jury has indicted a former Indiana excise police officer and a topless dancer, closing an investigation into several officers accused of taking sexual favors, food and alcohol while on duty.
John C. Dugan Jr., 30, faces one count of ghost employment, a felony, and two counts of official misconduct, a misdemeanor. Melissa Stonebraker, 28, also was indicted Thursday on a perjury charge because she allegedly lied under oath when she denied having any sexual contact with Dugan.
The Indiana State Excise Police Department enforces the state's tobacco and liquor laws and is overseen by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission. There are 50 officers who cover the state's 92 counties, usually checking permits and following up on complaints, said Excise Police Superintendent Penny Davis.
"We're disappointed that the prosecutor's office sought and obtained an indictment on this case. We anticipate a trial on this and an acquittal," said Richard Kiefer, Dugan's attorney.
Allegedly wined and dined by club owner
While he was on duty Feb. 8, Dugan accepted an expensive meal and numerous alcoholic drinks from club owner Bradley Hirst, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that on Feb. 12, Dugan and his former supervisor, Charles Eugene Honeycutt, who was superintendent of the Indiana State Excise Police, were drinking, dining and engaging in sexual activity while they both were on duty. Hirst offered, and Dugan allegedly accepted, an expensive meal, alcohol and a hotel room to use for sex acts with Stonebraker, Hirst's employee, the indictment says.
The investigation began late last year after former excise police Officer Franklin Schimpf was arrested for trying to buy cocaine for his girlfriend, said Davis, who was appointed superintendent Feb. 21.
"That's what started the ball rolling," she said. "When [Schimpf] was arrested, he started talking."
Other officers being 'very professional'
Schimpf was charged with two counts of felony cocaine possession and is scheduled to appear in court May 18 for a pretrial conference, said Lisa Allen, a spokeswoman for the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. Honeycutt is scheduled to plead guilty May 4 to charges of ghost employment and official misconduct, she said.
"We're glad [the investigation has] ended. Now we can get on with the business we're supposed to do. During all of this time, these other officers were still being very professional ... which was hard for them to do for a while," Davis said. "We're trying to tighten up some areas, some policies and procedures that needed some fresh eyes looking at them."
Besides Honeycutt and Dugan, Officer Kevin Leslie also was accused of the same acts but was not charged because he cooperated with investigators, Allen said.
Hirst also was not charged. As of this afternoon, Dugan and Stonebraker had not turned themselves in on warrants for their arrest, she said.