The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

March 11, 2014

Former DCS director charged with perjury in federal case

INDIANAPOLIS – The former local director of the Indiana Department of Child Services and member of the New Castle Community School Corp.’s school board has been charged by criminal complaint with one count of perjury and one count of making a materially false statement, U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced Tuesday.

Michael Fleming, 58, of New Castle, has been charged for his role in allegedly lying in front of a federal grand jury and to federal agents who were following up on a criminal complaint previously filed against Darrell Hughes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Specifically, Hughes is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child and attempted exploitation of a child. It is alleged that Hughes made contact with boys who he would have met at an alternative school operated by the New Castle School system. The alternative school is commonly referred to as North Campus.

The criminal complaint pertaining to Fleming unsealed Tuesday alleges that on Feb. 4, 2014, agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) went to Fleming’s office in New Castle to further the investigation of Hughes. Agents served Fleming with a subpoena to testify in front of the grand jury. At that time, the agents asked Fleming whether he knew that Hughes had been arrested. He acknowledged that he did. When asked if he had ever heard complaints of alleged misconduct or inappropriate behavior by Hughes, Fleming said no. The agents soon left the DCS office and asked Fleming to call with any follow-up information.

The complaint further alleges that on Feb. 18 Fleming testified in front of the federal grand jury for the Southern District of Indiana. During that testimony Fleming stated that he was familiar with Hughes because of counseling services that Hughes provided to children but was not aware of any complaints related to Hughes before his arrest.

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