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January 7, 2014

IN-DEPTH LOOK: Clark County court personnel under investigation

Intimidation, abuse of power allegations made

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE — JAMES DAKOTA ‘CODY’ HENDRICK

Hendrick gave an account to the News and Tribune of what happened during the field visit that he claims was made by Snelling and Knoebel at Rocky’s Sub Pub on Sept. 23.

He first explained that after returning to Jerry’s Place from his authorized pass from the facility, he was told of the field visit the night before. Hendrick said it was cause for concern that he was not there during their visit. Hendrick said he immediately called the drug court emergency phone number and left a message that he had returned to Jerry’s Place and could be reached, if needed.

The call was returned, which Hendrick said he missed, but a voicemail was left that he paraphrased as saying, “We know you were on weekend pass. Call with any questions.”

He said the message was left on his phone by a drug court case worker.

The next day, Hendrick went to work at Rocky’s where he works as a host. He said that he had received a call from the Rocky’s phone from another case manger saying he needed to physically check in with drug court staff, “as soon as possible.”

Hendrick said he felt it was permissible to wait until his work shift ended — hours later around 2:30 p.m. — to make the face-to-face check-in. At some point during the day, Knoebel obtained a warrant for Hendrick’s arrest.

According to court records, the warrant was requested for  “ …. participant’s continued non-response to drug court staff.”

Hendrick has a blemished record of violations after entering the drug court program in or near May 2012. Court records show at least four violations, including one positive drug screen and missing community service.

Hendrick’s Clark County arrest history shows two sets of criminal charges, once in March 2011, at the age of 19, and again in December 2011. Both arrests were marijuana-related and led to a total of four class D felony and two misdemeanors charges.

Since entering the drug program, Hendrick, who remains in the program and lives at Jerry’s Place, has not been charged of any new criminal activity. He has only been found in violation of drug court rules, according to court records.

Westmoreland, who has been involved in the staffing committee of the Clark County Drug Court Treatment Program, said it appears the drug court officials are not adhering to the spirit of the program.

"One of the things we really force some of the people [drug court participants] is to get honest," he said. "So, if they [drug court officials] are not honest, how can we put other people in jail for not being honest? Am I right?"

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