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December 17, 2012

Deputy Floyd County coroner to face drunken driving charges

Floyd County official preliminarily charged in Sunday arrest

NEW ALBANY — A Floyd County Deputy Coroner was charged with several counts of drunken driving Sunday.

Howard J. Rainey, 53, of 1217 E. Spring St. in New Albany, was arrested following a traffic stop made by Indiana State Police.

The stop was made near the intersection of Ind. 111 and E. 10th St. in New Albany about 1:29 a.m.

ISP declined to say what violations the trooper saw to initiate the traffic stop, but said Rainey was found with a .2 blood alcohol content following a test administered at the Floyd County Jail.

Rainey was booked into the jail on preliminarily charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a class C misdemeanor, operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a Blood Alcohol Content of .15 or more, a class A misdemeanor, operating a vehicle while intoxicated — second offense, a class D felony, and public intoxication, a class B misdemeanor.

Rainey was released from the Floyd County Jail about 2 p.m. Sunday after a 10 percent payment of a $12,000 cash/surety bond, according to jail officials.

According to court documents, in 2009 Rainey was charged in Floyd County Superior Court No. 2 with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a class D felony, and operating a vehicle with an BAC of .08 or more, a class C misdemeanor.

In subsequent court proceedings, Rainey plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge, and the felony charge was dismissed. He was sentenced to a six month probation term, 24 hours community service, and ordered to complete the court’s substance abuse program or follow recommendations of a rehabilitation facility.

The sentence included suspending his driver’s license for 30 days with an additional six-month restriction term.

Floyd County Coroner Leslie Knable said she was disappointed to hear of Rainey’s arrest and preliminary charges.

He had been serving under Knable since he was hired in Oct. 2011.

She said Rainey was placed on paid suspension Dec. 6, and had not responded to a death call since that time.

She placed Rainey on suspension following an incident where she requested him to be on call, and he failed to make himself available for a death response.

Knable said she had to leave a prior engagement and respond to the death call.

She added that she was dissastified with Rainey’s attitude after she confronted him about his failure to be available on the date, as she had requested.

She said his failure to complete required certification also led to her placing Rainey on suspension.

Knable said she has placed Rainey on unpaid suspension following his most recent arrest.

She said he will be terminated immediately if he pleads guilty in court, and she will wait for the court’s disposition to take further disciplinary action if his case reaches trial.

Rainey has not been officially charged, but officials with the Office of the Floyd County Prosecutor said Monday charges are expected to be filed today. A call made to Rainey was not returned as of press time.

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