(HENRY CO.) - The former Department of Child Services Director in Henry County is facing federal criminal charges for his actions during the sexual exploitation investigation of a New Castle school employee.
The federal complaint against Michael Fleming also raises questions about when DCS first received complaints about that employee's relationships with young boys.
In late January, officers arrested Darrell Hughes. He is accused of photographing or video recording at least four minor boys in his bathroom on multiple occasions over an extended period of time. Prosecutors say he also provided the children with alcohol, illegal drugs and other gifts.
Investigators say when they contacted Fleming, he told them he had never received or been made aware of any complaints against Hughes. The federal complaint says he testified as such before a federal grand jury on February 18.
Fleming had received a complaint about Hughes in 2011 and that around the time of his grand jury testimony he discussed concealing that fact from federal investigators.
Prosecutors say they learned of the alleged deception when the chief legal counsel and internal affairs head for DCS contacted them six days after the grand jury met.
The DCS attorney said Hughes had been fired "for encouraging a subordinate to make untruthful statements in the investigation of Darrell Hughes and admitting to that same employee that he gave incomplete or inaccurate information to a grand jury."
The federal complaint says a DCS employee reported "strange interactions" between one of the young men and Hughes in 2011. At the time, Hughes was the student's counselor.
Fleming, who is also a member of the New Castle Community School Corporation Board, is charged with giving false testimony.
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