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Charges filed against current and ex-Columbus police officers for theft, ghost employment

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 17:39:27-05

COLUMBUS — A current Columbus Police Department officer and former Columbus police officer have been criminally charged with official misconduct, ghost employment, and theft.

Special prosecutor Jeff Chalfant filed charges Friday against Ronald May and Dan Meister.

They were arrested Friday afternoon, according to Indiana State Police, which started investigating in November 2018.

As Call 6 Investigates reported last year, Indiana State Police was investigating allegations of ghost employment and official misconduct within the Columbus Police Department.

The officers are accused of working secondary jobs as security officers at Columbus Regional Hospital while they were on duty for Columbus Police.

“The investigation indicated that between February 2015 and August 2018, Meister and May allegedly worked overlapping shifts for both Columbus Police Department and Columbus Regional Hospital,” according to Indiana State Police. “Both officers were paid by CPD, and CRH for the same hours worked on numerous occasions. Investigators found that Meister had overlapped hours worked on 52 separate occasions. May was found to have overlapped hours worked on 62 separate occasions.”

Call 6 Investigates spoke with Lt. Matt Harris, a spokesperson for Columbus Police, and he said he is working on a response.

Columbus Regional Hospital spokeswoman Kelsey DeClue confirmed to RTV6 that officers Ron May and Dan Meister were dismissed from their independent contractor jobs at the hospital on Nov. 30, 2018, one day after Columbus Police contacted ISP on to investigate a criminal complaint.

Columbus Police launched an internal investigation after the agency received a complaint.

Following that internal investigation, officer May announced he would retire.

Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for Columbus Police, said Meister was reassigned to non-law enforcement duties within the agency.

RTV6 asked the department for an interview with the accused officers.

Columbus Regional Hospital spokeswoman Kesley DeClue said they fully cooperated with the investigation.

Call 6 Investigates spoke with Lt. Matt Harris, a spokesperson for Columbus Police, and he said he is working on a response.