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Last updated on Thursday, March 27, 2014
(UNDATED) - The Hendricks County Sheriff’s Merit Board is mulling over the employment fate of deputies Jason and Teresa Woods.
The board heard testimony in the termination hearing of the pair on Wednesday afternoon. This after their attorney John Kautzman left the hearing which the Woods also didn't attend.
During the hearing, Kautzman cited what he called his clients' fifth amendment right not to testify at the hearing due to an ongoing criminal probe into their alleged activities. The board rejected Kautzman's request to postpone the hearing and stay department charges against Jason Woods who has just submitted his retirement.
Sheriff Dave Galloway testified that Jason Woods - a 15 year sheriff's department veteran - admitted to taking $250,000 from a Geist-based, businessman friend who Woods said "asked him to hold it."
The sheriff says he got wind of the case from Marion County Sheriff John Layton who he says told him he might have a "dirty deputy." This after - Galloway testified - Woods met with a third party person at the McDonald's on 96th Street in Indianapolis.
Galloway testified that Woods was supposedly using code words when he met with the guy who was acting on behalf of the businessman who wanted his money back. The guy never got the money back.
Galloway says they still don't know where the money might be.
The sheriff says the friend - who moved to Florida - had also hired a private detective to track Woods. He says at one point, Woods said he kept the money in the safe in his home and that Teresa Woods admitted to knowing about the money.
Galloway says deputies should never take money and should always report such activity which the Woods did not.
The sheriff is seeking to have the board terminate the Woods who face numerous charges including conduct unbecoming officers and failure to report criminal information.
The board will return with a written decision on May 13th at 6 p.m. Meantime, the sheriff says federal and state authorities are in the midst of their own probe of the entire case.
The Woods are currently on suspension without pay.
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