Hancock County Prosecutor
According to my research, which is now a few years old,, Hancock County prosecutors historically have been among those not following the law, pocketing all civil forfeiture proceeds and not paying a dime to the Common School fund.
But apparently civil forfeiture is not the only area in which Hancock County Prosecutor Michael Griffin has violated the law. He has also accepted $16,153 in diversion funds as a supplemental salary over the past several years. Indiana law does not allow this.
According to IC 33-37-8-6, diversion funds may only be used according to the guidelines set by the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney's Council. According to IPAC Diversion and Deferral Guidelines, "The elected prosecutor shall not receive any salary from diversion or deferral funds." Diversion funds are the fees collected in exchange for foregoing prosecution of an individual. The obvious reason for preventing this use of diversion funds is similar the ignored limits on use of civil forfeiture funds, to not incentivize the prosecutor to forego prosecutions in order to enrich himself.
Prosecutor Griffin is being challenged by Hancock County attorney Brent Eaton. In a press release, Eaton suggests that when he confronted Prosecutor Griffin, who is an accountant, tax attorney and CPA, about the illegal payments, Griffin claimed ignorance of the law. I wonder if Prosecutor Griffin dismisses cases when defendants claim "ignorance of the law" in his county. My guess is he does not. Yet when it comes to his own behavior violating the law, Griffin expects a pass. Hancock County voters should say "no."