Prosecutor considering police recommendation for charges against central Indiana mayor



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ELWOOD, Indiana — State police investigators have recommended that a county prosecutor file criminal charges against a central Indiana mayor over the spending of campaign money for personal expenses.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he'll have to decide whether to request appointment of a special prosecutor to consider the case against Elwood Mayor Ron Arnold and it could be a few weeks before a charging decision is made.

Arnold met twice with state police investigators and provided them with the campaign documents they requested, his attorney, Bryan Williams, told The Herald Bulletin (http://bit.ly/1CRl524 ).

"I'm hopeful the prosecutor will see it as non-criminal," Williams said. "Mistakes were made, but there was no criminal intent."

Arnold's campaign finance records show about $7,000 in spending for cellphone service and nearly $4,000 for cable TV. The records also show about $1,400 was paid to hotels in Los Angeles; Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Arnold was elected as a Republican in 2011 as mayor of the 9,000-person city about 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

Cummings said the state police report recommends two low-level felony charges and possible multiple misdemeanor charges, but declined to release specifics.

"I have reached the conclusion that there is enough credible evidence to review for the filing of possible charges," Cummings said.

The state police investigation, which began in February, doesn't recommend charges against anyone else.

Arnold's campaign committee reported raising and spending about $42,000 during the 2011 election campaign. During 2012 and 2013, the committee reported contributions of $33,763 and expenditures of $34,368, with $1,100 in debt at the end of last year.


Information from: The Herald Bulletin, http://www.theheraldbulletin.com

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