On Thursday, former Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison, 46, Brazil, along with his public defender Geoffrey Creason, appeared before Vigo Superior Court 6 Judge Michael Lewis to enter an official not guilty plea and request a change of venue for all court proceedings from Clay to Vigo County.
Lewis has been appointed special judge in the case and Putnam County Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter has been appointed special prosecutor.
Due to a conflict of interest because of Harrison's previous career in law enforcement and his potential for being subpoenaed to testify in ongoing criminal cases as an investigative officer, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, along with both Superior and Circuit Courts in Clay County, are unable to participate in the prosecution of this case.
Lewis granted the change of venue request, accepted the not guilty plea and set a tentative jury trial date for July 25.
The case against Harrison is a result of misconduct allegations surfacing while he was police chief in July 2008.
According to officials, Harrison allegedly received and cashed a $2,000 grant check for funds intended to purchase car safety seats for children from the Indiana University Automotive Safety Program, but never deposited them into the official government accounts for the City of Brazil.
Officials confirmed the grant money has since been recovered.
A lengthy investigation by Indiana State Police led to Harrison being formally charged with class B felony Failure To Deposit Public Funds and class D felony Official Misconduct on Jan. 6. Harrison was taken into custody two days before (Jan. 4) at a family member's residence.
If convicted of a class B felony, the highest charge filed against Harrison at this time, the sentence issued by the state for a guilty conviction/plea agreement ranges from 6-20 years in prison and potential fines up to $10,000. A conviction for the class D felony is punishable with up to six months-3 years in prison and potential fines up to $10,000.
Harrison, who is no longer employed by BCPD, is currently out on a $10,000 cash bond (with 10 percent allowed) while awaiting further court proceedings.