Ex-coroner sues ex-prosecutor over legal advice

INDIANAPOLIS - A former central Indiana coroner who pleaded guilty to driving drunk is suing a former prosecutor from an adjoining county, alleging he provided incompetent counsel that kept her from running for re-election.

The Indianapolis Star reports former Hancock County Coroner Tamara Vangundy contends in a lawsuit that her attorney, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, advised her that if she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge and a felony official misconduct charge, she would receive misdemeanor sentencing for both counts.

But under state law, a person cannot serve in elected office if convicted of a felony. The lawsuit says Brizzi believed incorrectly that Vangundy would remain eligible if sentenced entirely under misdemeanor guidelines.

Brizzi said he could not comment because he is still bound by attorney-client privilege.

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