INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– It’s been a rough summer for Marion County Sheriff John Layton.
On July 12, auto theft suspect Brandy Majors was allowed to walk away from the Marion County Jail despite a hold placed by authorities in Hendricks County.
Majors was arrested in front of a Fox59 camera two days later as her surrender was being personally negotiated with Sheriff Layton.
Last week, Layton announced a sergeant would be demoted, suspended and retrained, as would nine other deputies. A civilian employee was also disciplined.
Two weeks later, an inmate claimed she was raped by a man when a sheriff’s deputy left her cell door unlocked.
Indiana State Police are investigating that claim and will present their case to the Marion County Prosecutor next week.
This past weekend, three deputies, two men and a woman, were fired by the sheriff.
It’s been a rough summer for Marion County Sheriff John Layton.
“It’s an opportunity to be able to take the lemons and try to make some lemonade out of it,” said Layton in his first extensive interview about the Majors case and other problems inside his department. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to do about it.”
Approximately 15 deputies have been examined, fired, demoted, suspended or retrained as a result of the incidents and other misbehavior or poor performance.
“Fifteen is far too many,” admitted Layton.
The sheriff consulted with Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry about Majors’ departure the morning after she was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Layton said Majors escaped because she allegedly snuck into line with a group of women being released from the jail. The sheriff said the prosecutor declined to charge Majors because of, “mitigating issues.”
“There were several deputies that were in line that probably could’ve stopped it if they were very vigilant of where she sat down,” said Layton.
The release has led to several changes in jail procedure and the retraining of some staff.
“We’re talking about some changes in the way things are done down in the book out as they go out the door and the deputies that are bringing them over from court and where they go and some changes there’s at least a full page of changes that hopefully will enhance the way they do business down there.
“Mistakes are mistakes but mistakes also bring about opportunity.”
One sergeant was demoted.
Layton said he is looking into possible disciplinary action against two deputies who were on duty in late July when a woman claimed she was raped in the jail.
Three deputies were fired this past week.
One deputy was chronically late to work, said Layton. Another was running a home business while on the job. The third was caught communicating with a woman after she was released from jail.
Layton said he is sending a message that misbehavior and potentially life-threatening mistakes won’t be tolerated at the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
“Mistakes can’t be made when you’re trying to keep really bad people in jail.”