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Ex-suspect threatens to sue prosecutor

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GREENFIELD — A former police officer has threatened to sue Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier over her work as a special prosecutor on a case in Madison County.

Napier is one of a handful of officials named in a tort claim notice recently sent by the attorney for Roger Ockomon, whom Napier prosecuted in connection to a child molest case in Anderson last year.

Ockomon lives in North Webster, but family members including a brother arrested on child molest charges in 2012 reside in Anderson.

The charges against Ockomon and his brother were ultimately dropped, and Ockomon has now threatened to seek $500,000 in damages.

A tort claim is not a lawsuit; it is a legal document filed in advance of a lawsuit in which a party alleges wrongdoing. The plaintiff has two years from the time a claim is filed to pursue a formal lawsuit.

The investigation into the Ockomon family began in the summer of 2012, when Ockomon’s brother was accused of molesting three young relatives more than 20 years ago.

Ockomon, a retired police officer, was indicted on charges of official misconduct and assisting a criminal in August 2012 by a grand jury after officials claimed he was uncooperative in the investigation of his brother, according to the tort claim.

Weeks later, Napier dropped the charges and declined to prosecute, according to court records submitted with the claim.

Meanwhile, Ockomon was suspended from his job as a seasonal worker for the Department of Natural Resources. The nature of Ockomon’s work or length of the suspension was not clear from documents provided with the claim.

The claim alleges Ockomon suffered “adverse employment effects, … humiliation, mental and emotion distress, damage to his character and reputation, and/or other damges.”

Napier said the attorney general’s office, which investigates claims against prosecutors, has found the claim to be baseless but declined to comment.

Prosecutor Michael Griffin conducted an investigation and said his chief deputy acted appropriately as special prosecutor.

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