Dr. Vidya Miller, former wife of the sheriff's brother, Gary Miller
, claimed that in 1988 her then-husband had asked her to lend Doran Miller $ 60, 000, to cover money missing from the secret drug-buy fund.
, a sheriff's deputy at the department, retracted the story about his
brother taking public funds.
The special prosecutor's investigation stretched through all of 1993 and into 1994.After a year and a half, McClure found there was not enough evidence to charge Doran Miller, Gary Miller
or anyone else with a crime.
was running for mayor of Franklin in the 1995 Republican primary when, one week before the election, information surfaced about a controversial change to his
To comply with new IRS rules, Johnson County officials had changed Miller's pension to reflect the gross amount he
was paid for prisoner meals, not the net profit he
made.That had the effect of doubling his
pension, but it also increased substantially the taxes he
lost the primary election to Herschel Cook and blamed his
defeat in part on a newspaper article about the pension question.
The loss spelled the end of what might have been a promising political career.
I think there was a time when he
could have been an area representative for the General Assembly, Scroggins said.I think he
had the potential to do that..Miller
later left the Sheriff's Department and worked with the U.S. Marshals Service and the Indiana Sheriff's Association.His
bankruptcy filing lists income of $ 50, 000 in 1998 from the sheriff's association and from work as a bail bondsman, and $ 54, 000 in 1999 from the sheriff's association.The documents also indicate Miller
operated a business, Doran Miller Bail Bonds, from June to September 1999.Miller
no longer works for the sheriff's association, but court documents indicate recent employment with Sheriff's National Data Systems of Cleveland, Ohio.
IRS officials are prohibited by law from discussing Miller's case specifically, but the dates suggest the tax bill includes income Miller earned as sheriff.
Sheriff pay has been a controversial issue in Indiana because, in addition to base salary, sheriffs also have had access to significant income from other sources.One source was the money allotted by the state to provide meals for jail inmates.
They consist primarily of the Franklin home, valued at $ 180, 000, and Miller's
public pension, valued at $ 150, 000.
Loans from friends
According to the bankruptcy documents, Miller
began borrowing money from personal acquaintances in 1994, just as his
tenure as sheriff was winding down.The personal loans grew more frequent in 1998 and 1999.
The list of creditors reads like a who be Who of Johnson County business and politics.
I am amazed at who these people are.These are people who were trusted confidants of Doran's, said Jones, who often represented Miller
in personal and official business.
Jones' November 1994 loan to Miller
is one of the earliest listed in the bankruptcy filing.Jones said Miller
came to him expressing concern about the pending loss of his
sheriff's salary and seeking $ 3, 500, which he
promised to repay in a few weeks.Miller
did not explain specifically why he
needed the money, Jones said.He
do not specify and I do not ask, Jones said.The pitch to me was that he
was in between jobs..
Jones said Miller
always acknowledged the debt in subsequent conversations and promised to pay it back with interest, but contact between the two grew infrequent.
Another person who loaned money to Miller
is Ina Fleetwood, an accountant and former Franklin clerk-treasurer.
simply opened my office door and said, ‘I'm in trouble and I need some money, " recalled Fleetwood, who loaned Miller
$ 2, 860 in October 1998.The only thing he
told me was he
needed it for Mutual Savings and Loan..
In contrast, Gary Lee did not consider himself a good friend but rather an acquaintance of Miller