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February 26, 2014

Floyd County to pay $140,000 in residual Camm trial fees

Judge orders outstanding balance to be paid in 72 hours

SPENCER COUNTY — Floyd County Auditor Scott Clark was ordered by a Spencer County judge Wednesday to pay the majority of disputed claims presented by the defense team of David Camm related to his third murder trial.

Judge Jon Dartt gave Clark three days to pay approximately $140,000 for the expenses of the defense counsel, whose legal services resulted in the former Indiana State Police trooper receiving a not guilty verdict in October 2013.

The disputed claims included payments to paralegals; attorneys who did not serve primary roles in the trial; air fare and mileage of expert witnesses; fees owed to defense experts who testified; and overhead costs.

Camm’s defense attorney Stacy Uliana said after the hearing that she was pleased with Dartt’s decision but is uncertain if Clark will disregard a second court order to pay the defense fees.

“The judge said that we are entitled to all the money that we have asked for and all the money that our [defense] experts have asked for,” Uliana said. “The only thing that remains will be if the Floyd County auditor will live up to the order.”

According to a complaint filed Jan. 17, which led to Wednesday’s hearing, a court order was hand-delivered to Clark’s office Dec. 17, 2013, and sent through certified mail days later that directed Clark to pay all outstanding balances.

“ ...in early January, counsel reached out to the Auditor, who claimed that hand delivery of the order and certified mail receipt was not adequate service,” according to the complaint. “Other than make this frivolous claim, the Auditor has not responded to counsel at all.”

The complaint, submitted by Camm’s defense attorney, Richard Kammen, requested Clark be brought before the court “ ... to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of this Court and punished for his willful contempt by fine or imprisonment, or both, until he purges himself of his willful contempt by paying all outstanding defense billings ...”

During the hearing, Clark was represented by attorney Gregory Reger, who declined to give public comment after the proceeding.

Uliana summarized Dartt’s order to force Floyd County to pay the remaining balance.

“Just to make it simple, everything was pretty much ordered to be paid to us. The only things that weren’t ordered to be paid to us were things we agreed upon,” Uliana said, adding that some of the claims Floyd County was not ordered to pay include those that had already been paid, but the defense had not received notification of the payment.

For Uliana, the day was another victory for the defense team.

“We won in full because we haven’t done anything wrong. We gave Dave [Camm] a good defense, and that is what he deserved,” she said. “The Floyd County auditor was just refusing to pay without any merit.”

A check of just over $39,000 was also given to the defense from the auditor Wednesday, but Uliana explained that payment is separate from the $140,000 court order.

“The disturbing thing is that [Clark] didn’t even abide by the courts’ order today,” she said. “He has not given us the full amount. He has been given three days to give us the full amount, or there will be another contempt hearing.”

Uliana said Clark paid a portion of the $140,000 Wednesday, but declined to disclose the amount paid.

“It was a waste of time and money. That is all it was,” she said of the Spencer County hearing. “There was no legitimacy of any of their points.”

Uliana was asked why she believed there has been hesitancy of behalf of Floyd County to pay the defense team’s fees.

“I don’t know,” she said. “Is it vindictiveness? Is it not wanting to live up to your responsibilities? The Floyd County prosecutors decided to continue with this case, even after they found Charles Boney guilty [in 2006]. And now, the county doesn’t want to pay for it, and this is what you have to do.”

Uliana said it is “troubling” for her that Floyd County had made timely payments to Camm’s defense, until the day after the not-guilty verdict.

“We had no trouble getting paid, or getting any of our experts paid, until the day after the acquittal,” she said.

Uliana said she has never experienced difficulty receiving payment as a public defender for her services or for those working on behalf of a defense team.

“This was a first,” she said. “And, what was so disturbing about it was the unreasonable nature of Floyd County. Nobody would talk with us about the disputes. We were willing to sit down with someone and explain to them what these bills were about, but nobody want to talk with us.”

During the hearing, Uliana took time to express to Dartt her frustration with Clark and other Floyd County officials’ lack of communication with the defense team to resolve the billing issues.

Dartt also became agitated with Clark during the hearing, telling him that Floyd County should have had better communication with defense attorneys, which would have prevented the day’s hearing.

“I am very disappointed we are here today,” Dartt said to Clark in reference to the Floyd County officials not communicating with the defense attorneys. “There is a thing called a telephone. All of this could have been avoided if someone would have picked up a telephone and tried to resolve this.”

Background

The hearing only took place after Kammen submitted the complaint requesting Clark appear in the court.

The complaint claims that Floyd County has not only failed to fully pay the attorneys for their counsel, “but also the vast majority of defense experts who assisted counsel or testified on behalf of the defendant have not been paid by Floyd County.”

Referencing Floyd County’s position on the matter as “absurd,” the complaint continues that Kammen has reached out to the Clark’s counsel, but no response was provided. Kammen and Uliana claim Floyd County officials continued to ignore requests for discourse  throughout January regarding payments owed.

“ ...on January 10 and 14, 2014, Ms. Uliana emailed and called the Auditor to determine his position as to payment on the Camm case, and has received no reply,” according to the document.

The complaint claims that on Jan., 6, Uliana called Floyd County Council Presided Jim Wathan, to arrange a meeting to resolve the issue.

“Mr. Wathan did not return Ms. Uliana’s call prior to the filing of this motion,” according to the complaint.

Stemming from the lack of communication for Floyd County officials, the complaint was filed, “reluctantly, but necessarily,” and it asks stiff measures be taken until payment is made.

In October, Camm was acquitted by a Boone County, Ind., jury of the 2000 murders of his wife, Kim, and two children, Brad and Jill. In 2006, Charles Boney was found guilty of murdering the Camm family as well as conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 225 years in prison.

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