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Special prosecutor to review alleged ghost employment in Columbus Police Department

Posted at 4:21 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 16:34:19-05

COLUMBUS — A special prosecutor has been named in the criminal investigation of two Columbus Police Department officers accused of collecting a paycheck from a hospital while they were supposed to be on duty for the police department.

RTV6 has learned Jackson County Prosecutor, Jeff Chalfant, will review the case of Ron May and Dan Meister, who worked secondary security jobs at Columbus Regional Hospital.

Special prosecutors are named when a potential conflict of interest exists for the usual prosecutor, in this case, the Bartholomew County prosecutor.

“I have not yet received the investigation from the Indiana State Police, as the investigation is ongoing at this time,” Chalfant said.

Chalfant said he anticipates the investigations “will take a while to complete.”

Chalfant will look at whether criminal charges, such as ghost employment, would apply.

Officers Ron May and Dan Meister were dismissed from their independent contractor jobs at the hospital on November 30, one day after Columbus Police contacted Indiana State Police to investigate a criminal complaint.

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

Following that internal investigation, officer May announced on November 29 he would retire in May, according to the police department.

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

Harris said Meister, a 22-year veteran, was previously a lieutenant and is now working in a patrol officer position.

Harris said officer May is not working for the police department because of accumulated vacation time.

RTV6 asked the department for an interview with the accused officers, but they have not agreed to speak with RTV6.

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