Marion County Traffic Court bailiffs accused of forging documents to get tickets dismissed
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Two former employees at Marion County Traffic Court are accused of forging documents and illegally dismissing traffic tickets.
Evelyn Hughes is charged with 49 counts including bribery, forgery and official misconduct. Carnetta Arthur faces 14 counts, including forgery and official misconduct.
“In this case they were making entries without the permission of the prosecutor or the judge,” said Marion County deputy prosecutor Ryan Mears.
According to court records, the two suspects forged judges’ signatures to dismiss tickets. It took prosecutors nearly 2 years to investigate the dozens of counts of forgery and official misconduct.
“We were pretty vigorous in our review. Traffic court is a volume court. Thousands of people have their cases resolved and we went through all those cases to see where the irregularities existed,” said Mears.
The affidavit also contends the two suspects forwarded the forged documents to the BMV to clear up suspensions and fees for various drivers.
As a result of their actions, various fees owed to Marion County, the City of Indianapolis and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles were never paid, prosecutors said.
In the case against Hughes, prosecutors believe she accepted brides for some of her crimes.
“Whether it was family or friends, they would come to her and give her money,” said Mears. “She was actually compensated for the work she was doing to dismiss people’s cases.”
Prosecutors say the criminal charges are important because people need to have trust in the court system.
“We want people to have confidence and trust in the justice system and to know their case is going to be decided on the merits and not because they know someone for the court staff,” said Mears.
A special judge has also been appointed in that case.
The Marion County Superior Court released the following statement on the allegations:
Due to the ethical obligations required of the Judiciary, the Court cannot comment on pending legal matters. The individuals are no longer employed by the Marion Superior Court. The Court has provided all information it has to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Questions should be directed to the prosecutor or the individuals involved.
In an unrelated case, a former bailiff for the Arrestee Processing Center, Crystal Jones, is accused of accessing multiple law enforcement databases for nonofficial reasons without consent and providing that information to defendants.
She’s charged with seven counts of official misconduct and two counts of computer trespass.
In one case, prosecutors allege she used her official access to complete a bail interview in which she knew the defendant and provided false information knowing that a judge would use it in the determination of a bond.