Bill would suspend officeholders facing felonies

Indiana elected officials who have been charged with felony crimes could be suspended while waiting for trial under legislation that a Greenfield Republican is proposing.

Sen. Beverly Gard says her bill would allow local governments to continue running without elected leaders who await court hearings for felony charges related to the performance of their official duties. Her bill would allow for officials to have their pay suspended, though they could get back pay if they are later acquitted.

Current state law removes officials from office if they are convicted of a felony. But convictions can take months or years, and Gard says there needs to be a way to protect taxpayers in the meantime.

Gard's proposal comes after an auditor and a sheriff in Hancock County were charged with felonies.

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