Judge And Wife Indicted on 48 Criminal Charges
KENTLAND, Ind. (AP) _ A judge jailed with his pregnant wife, an attorney, on 48 charges stemming from alleged misuse of office equipment, says the couple are going on a hunger strike to protest what he calls a political vendetta.
Marc A. Bauer, 33, and his wife, Cynthia, 31, who is expecting the couple’s fifth child in about six weeks, were arrested at their home Thursday night.
Bauer is being held in lieu of bail of $226,000 and his wife on $50,000 bond. They share a Newton County Jail cell that has two bunk beds and a toilet.
State police said Bauer was indicted on one count of ″corrupt business influence racketeering,″ six counts of obstructing justice, three counts of conversion, two counts of official misconduct and 22 counts of theft stemming from alleged misuse of his office telephone.
Mrs. Bauer was charged with four counts of theft, two counts of conversion, one count of obstructing justice and three counts of possession of marijuana.
Bauer is accused of using his court’s computer to do work for his wife, which allegedly brought her at least $800 in legal fees.
The theft charges stem from the judge’s alleged use of his court’s phone for personal long-distance calls, and the obstruction of justice counts derived from his alleged removal of computer disks.
Mrs. Bauer’s indictments alleged she used the judge’s office supplies, telephone and computer time for her law practice.
″I think it’s pretty low of them to throw a pregnant woman in jail when she’s due in six weeks,″ Bauer said Friday.
A bond reduction for Bauer may not be held until Monday because the special prosecutor in the case, John E. Dowd, and special judge James Damikolas were not available to hear the petition, The Indianapolis Star reported in today’s editions.
Bauer said he had offered several times to repay the county for his use of the office equipment, but was told it would not be necessary.
He said he and his wife would go on a hunger strike in the jail to protest.
″I am doing it as a show of my seriousness that I want the U.S. Attorney of northern Indiana to conduct a grand jury investigation into political corruption in Newton County,″ Bauer said.
The couple’s attorney, Nile Stanton of Indianapolis, said Bauer, a Republican, has been attacked because he challenged a GOP-endorsed candidate when he ran for judge and because he convened a grand jury that indicted members of the Newton County Commission.
Stanton said Mrs. Bauer was a target of a political attack because she is seeking election as Newton County prosecutor.
Attorney General Linley E. Pearson asked the state Supreme Court to remove Bauer from the bench and appoint a temporary replacement, but the high court delayed any hearing on the case until after the grand jury acted.