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Cases against Sorrels to be tried separately

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mike Sorrels
More information has been released in the two separate criminal cases involving Michael Allen Sorrels, former director of the Clay County Humane Society.

According to information on file at the Clay County Courthouse, Sorrels, 27, Brazil, was formally arraigned on allegations from a warrant issued from Clay Circuit Court on new theft allegations Monday.

The formal charging information provided by the Clay County Prosecutor's Office shows the class D theft charge is the result of an investigation by the Clay County Sheriff's Department into misappropriation of $300 in payroll funds at the CCHS.

Sorrels appeared before Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout to be advised of the penalties and his rights. Attorney Geoffrey Creason was appointed counsel in the matter, which is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 29.

However, this case is not the only legal trouble for Sorrels.

Sorrels is facing other charges based on an investigation into various incidents from March 24-June 29, particularly his alleged involvement in the unauthorized release of 16 dogs from the shelter on May 11.

Although unable to comment on pending legal matters filed specifically against Sorrels, Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger was able to explain how the two separate matters would be handled by his office.

"Although these new allegations involve the same employer and same employee, these are two separate incidents," Reberger told The Brazil Times. "The two matters will be tried independently from each other."

Appearing July 6, Sorrels was charged with class D felony obstruction of justice, class D felony official misconduct, class D felony theft and two counts of class A misdemeanors, including false informing/reporting, and deception in Clay Circuit Court.

According to probable cause affidavits on file at the Clay County Courthouse, Sorrels, in his capacity as a public servant, manager and caretaker of the shelter facility, falsely reported to Clay County Sheriff's Department officials the lock on the outside pen at the shelter was allegedly cut, and 16 dogs were released May 11. The majority of the dogs were later recovered from alleged "dumpsites" officials confirmed were located near Raccoon Lake in Parke County, Seelyville, Cory and various other rural areas in Clay County.

During the subsequent investigation in which the CCHS board members, employees and volunteers fully cooperated, it is alleged Sorrels knowingly presented false information and evidence to mislead authorities at least twice of his involvement.

While interviewing several witnesses about missing items donated to the shelter, investigators discovered evidence Sorrels allegedly accepted a "$50 bill" payment on at least one occasion to falsify paperwork for an unidentified person serving court-ordered community service through Clay Community Corrections at the shelter.

A jury trial for this separate matter is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 18.

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I don't understand why Sorrels, a man who worked at the Humane Shelter faced crimanal charges, yet a Brazil City Police Officer, that earlier in the year held the position of Chief of Police, had no charges pressed agaianst him. Didn't Terry Harrison misappropriate funds also in an amount which exceeded this? In fact, from two seperate funds? What ever happened regarding this investigation? Why was he not arrested? All who break the law should be held accountable!

-- Posted by amicable on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 2:21 PM

MIKE SORRALS WAS NOT "THE DIRECTOR" !!!!!!!!!! When will the press get the facts straight?

-- Posted by Sugarbear on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 4:10 PM

HMMMM...Mike Sorrels was introduced as THE DIRECTOR in the very first article written about him. (Look it up in the archives on this website, the Tribune Star, and TV 10 and TV 2.) They have all called him that at some point!

Where were the complaints then about a wrong title? Where was the board correcting the media?

No one wanted to correct anything then, so why now? Apparently it's just because he's got himself in a world of PUBLIC trouble and the board and shelter supporters don't want connected to it. (This makes 3 different people with less than credible references hired to do this job in how long? Where are the complaints about that?? I bet there won't be any because that means someone has to step up and be responsible for BAD HIRING DECISIONS.)

Not that it matters a tinker's dam what title is used to describe him, it looks like Sorrels is in a lot of trouble.

-- Posted by Cy on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 5:32 PM

Cy, I believe the first time this hit the Brazil Times a cpl. months ago, there were some posts saying he wasn't the Director nor had he ever been the Director. That was the title this paper gave him, but that doesn't make it so.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 6:28 PM

It's just very sad for the shelter & all of the animals.

-- Posted by th1953 on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 10:11 PM

amicable, I was also wondering why an employee of the Shelter should be any more prosecuted than the ex chief, the way things are so dysfunctional around here Who knows probably get rite back in the bpd and him and his gang of supporters will do a big repeat of past performances, apparently with full support of citizens who like the disappearing money act.

-- Posted by Ombudsman on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 8:27 AM

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