Former Indiana School Superintendant Indicted
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A former state school superintendent surrendered after his indictment Thursday on charges of using the Department of Education for personal and political gain.
Harold H. Negley, who had resigned April 10, became the fourth person to be indicted in the grand jury investigation of Department of Education misconduct, with a prosecutor predicting more indictments could follow.
He was charged with ghost employment, conspiracy to commit ghost employment and official misconduct in the Marion grand jury indictment.
Superior Court Judge Roy F. Jones entered an automatic plea of innocent for Negley, and scheduled the first pre-trial hearing in the case for May 15.
Neither Negley nor his attorney, James Voyles, would comment on the charges. When he took a temporary leave of absence from his post on March 6, Negley said: ″In no way should my actions be construed as an admission of criminal conduct.″
Negley, 63, had headed the Department of Education since 1972.
The indictment said that since April 19, 1980, Negley had conspired with three top aides to assign various education department employees to political chores that included preparing mailing lists, collecting campaign contributions and conducting strategy sessions.
The three aides were Ray Slaby, the associate school superintendent; Paul Krohne, who until January was a deputy superintendent and since then has been a top education adviser to Gov. Robert D. Orr; and Parker B. Eaton, the education department’s director of publications.
Krohne was indicted Wednesday in connection with the investigation, along with a department field auditor, Clifton Bush. Both surrendered Thursday and were released.Eaton earlier was indicted on a charge of obstructing justice in the inquiry. He was released on $1,000 bond.
Slaby was listed in Wednesday’s charges as an unindicted co-conspirator of both Krohne and Bush and remains a target of the investigation, said Marion County Prosecutor Stephen Goldsmith. He said more indictments could follow.
Ghost employment refers to people who are on the state payroll but do not work for the state.Ghost employment and conspiracy to commit ghost employment are Class D felonies, punishable by up to four years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Official misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
″Many of the political activities occurred year-round ... irrespective of whether there was a campaign,″ Goldsmith said. The ghost employment began in the late 1970s, involving thousands of hours of state time, he said, and ″it would be very difficult to place a value on it.″
Orr said the probe complicates the search for a successor to Negley. Candidates for the office are reluctant to join the department during the investigation, he said.
Dr. Robert Krajewski, superintendent of schools in East Chicago and a member of the State Board of Education, is acting state school superintendent.