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ANDERSON — A month after being hired by the Anderson Police Department, a former Alexandria police officer who provided extra security in the schools, was placed on paid administrative leave while the Indiana State Police investigated allegations of child molestation.

Matthew Blakeley was hired as a lateral transfer from the Alexandria Police Department on May 29, according to a press release from the Anderson Police Department. He was placed on paid leave June 30, where he remains until a specially appointed prosecutor reviews the results of the investigation to determine if formal charges will be filed.

When contacted, Blakeley confirmed he was on paid leave with Anderson Police and referred any additional questions to his attorney, Zaki Ali.

“The allegations are completely false,” Ali said. “It’s unfortunate, because I don’t think the complaining witness can appreciate the gravity of these allegations. I’m confident if we proceed to trial he will be found innocent.”

Ali said the allegations against his client were retaliatory in nature.

“We see it often – allegations of molest are one of two things. One, you have an actual sexual predator or, No. 2, you have an ulterior motive,” the attorney said.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said a special prosecutor was requested for an independent review due to the seriousness of the allegations.

Police Chief Tony Watters said Assistant Chief Jake Brown made the decision to place Blakeley on paid administrative leave. Brown did not return calls regarding the allegations.

In July, The Herald Bulletin submitted a public information request seeking information on Anderson police officers who were employed by the city, but not working the streets. The request included complaints received by the city resulting in placement on administrative leave.

Anderson City Attorney Tim Lanane did not deny the request under any statute and said Adam Watters was the only officer facing formal charges and on administrative leave. Watters was placed on unpaid administrative leave in June after being arrested on domestic violence charges.

On Tuesday, Lanane said that under the state’s access to public record laws, paid administrative leave is not considered final disciplinary action and the city was not required to disclose the names or reason a police officer was placed on paid administrative leave.

When the State Police was contacted regarding the investigation of a member of the Anderson Police Department the public information officer said, “which one, we have several.”

“Once the special prosecuting attorney has made their determination, the department will be able to proceed pursuant to state law, with any appropriate disciplinary action,” according to a press release from the Anderson Police Department.

Follow Traci L. Miller

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