EDGEWOOD — Town Marshal Martin “Skip” Stanley is expected to resign sometime over the weekend, after allegations surfaced that he directed an officer to alter Breathalyzer test results so a friend could avoid a drunken driving arrest.

Edgewood Town Council President Patricia Farran confirmed that Stanley was expected to resign over the holiday weekend. She said late Friday Stanley called her from his home after meeting with Indiana State Police investigators and said he would be submitting a formal letter of resignation.

“We talked to him,” Farran said, “but we don’t have an official letter of resignation. He felt it was the right thing to do. He felt he had done something he shouldn’t have done.”

The resignation stems from a traffic stop made by Deputy Marshal Clarke Zeigler in February.

According to a police report shown to The Herald Bulletin by Councilman John W. Gunter late Friday, Zeigler pulled over Charles “Chuck” Roberts Jr., 50, Anderson, at about 9:40 p.m. Feb. 28 near the intersection of 16th Street and Raible Avenue. Roberts is a friend of Stanley’s.

Zeigler gave Roberts a portable Breathalyzer test that showed Roberts’ blood-alcohol level was 0.11 percent, above Indiana’s 0.08 percent legal limit to drive.

Zeigler took Roberts to the Madison County Jail, where a certified breath test determined Roberts’ blood-alcohol content to be 0.107 percent. In Zeigler’s police report, however, he wrote that the test showed Roberts’ alcohol level at 0.06 percent. Zeigler said he had called Stanley at home to ask for advice on what to do. Stanley said it was Zeigler’s decision on how to proceed, and Zeigler ended up driving Roberts home and giving him a written warning not to drink and drive again.

It was at Zeigler’s discretion not to arrest Roberts on a misdemeanor count of public intoxication. Since he had cooperated, he was not arrested.

In a supplemental report, however, Stanley claims to have become suspicious of the traffic stop. Log results from the breath test taken at the jail were missing, and another document was missing from Zeigler’s report.

Stanley asked for the record from the Indiana University Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, which automatically collects BAC data, Gunter said. The results showed Roberts’ BAC was 0.107 percent.

Stanley told the council he suspended Zeigler for five days, beginning May 13, and wanted to begin termination proceedings against the officer. He suspended the officer for alleged neglect of duties, violation of rules and conduct unbecoming an officer. Stanley also asked the Indiana State Police to conduct an investigation into Zeigler’s alleged obstruction of justice.

ISP investigators learned, however, that Roberts may have used a Madison County Jail phone to contact Stanley, asking him to convince Zeigler to lower the alcohol tests results. Jail phones are recorded, and the conversation was apparently taped. ISP investigators were unavailable for comment late Friday, said Sgt. Mike Burns, Pendleton Post spokesman. Burns said he was unaware of the investigation.

Zeigler told council members that he changed Roberts’ test results at Stanley’s behest. But Stanley denied the accusation, Farran said.

Farran said Stanley, who could not be reached for comment, talked with investigators early Friday and then called her to offer his resignation at about 4 p.m. She said he wasn’t specific in the 20-minute conversation, only alluding to his talk with state investigators as the reason.

Neither Farran nor Gunter could provide a motive as to why Stanley would allegedly ask Zeigler to falsify a police report, suspend the officer, ask for a state investigation and then seek his termination.

Farran said she and the other council members didn’t have a copy of the recorded jail conversation and had not yet heard it. She said there was at least one recorded conversation and state investigators had heard it.

“Apparently the tapes show something (incriminating) against Skip,” said Gunter, who served as Madison County sheriff from 1971 to 1979. “I felt this as sheriff: If you’re crooked, I’ll be your worst enemy.”

Madison County Jail Commander Andrew Williams was unable to provide a copy of the recording late Friday.

Gunter cautioned that the results of the state police investigation aren’t yet known and it is not fully clear to the council if Stanley had done anything illegal or broken department guidelines. Stanley has been charged with any crime.

“He hasn’t done anything yet (officially) criminal,” Gunter said. “It’s hard to tell what’s going on.”

Stanley, who has been marshal since around 1995, earns about $30,000 per year, Farran said. Zeigler, who has since returned from the suspension, has been a deputy marshal for about five years and earns about $27,000, she said.

A published telephone listing for neither Stanley nor Zeigler could be located, and neither could be reached for comment. Roberts, a groundskeeper at Grandview Golf Course in Anderson, did not return a message seeking comment late Friday.

Farran said the town council would likely meet late next week in executive session to discuss Stanley’s resignation. The council’s next public meeting is 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 17 at Edgewood Town Hall.

Once Stanley’s resignation has formally been accepted, Farran said, Capt. Andrew Ellingwood would take over as acting chief until a formal replacement was determined.


What’s next?

Edgewood Town Council members are expected to meet late next week in executive session to discuss the impending resignation of Town Marshal Martin “Skip” Stanley. The council’s next public meeting is 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 17 at Edgewood Town Hall.

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