UPDATE: The protective order case against Vanderburgh County Sheriffs Office Sgt. Darren Baumberger has been dismissed. The order was issued after a woman filed for the order, and a complaint, which has been described as an 'intimidation' or 'stalking' against Baumberger.
The presiding judge in the case, Judge Trockman, said the allegations were not sufficient enough to warrant granting a permanent protective order against Baumberger.
Sheriff Dave Wedding says he expects the 2 month long administrative investigation that has been going on since April, should wrap up in the coming days. At this time , Baumberger remains on paid leave.
Original Story--5/20/2014 6:25 PM-
For more than a month, a sergeant at the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office has continued to collect a paycheck while being on paid administrative leave. Sgt. Darren Baumberger, a 15 year veteran, was placed on paid leave on April 18th after a complaint was filed against him. However, Eyewitness News has learned that Sgt. Baumberger might continue to be on paid leave until mid-June.
As Eyewitness News first reported, the internal investigation started when the Professional Standards Unit received a complaint against Sgt. Baumberger. Sgt. Baumberger is the sergeant that oversees training at the VCSO. The investigation was prompted by the complaint which has been described as an 'intimidation' or 'stalking' complaint, according to multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. On April 23rd, the woman who filed the complaint also filed a protective order against Sgt. Baumberger, according to sources. We have withheld the woman's name to protect her identity.
There was supposed to be a hearing Monday regarding the protective order, according to court records. However, the hearing was vacated by Judge Wayne Trockman because of a congested calendar, according to court records. The hearing has been pushed back to mid-June. Sgt. Baumberger will likely remain on leave until that hearing, Sheriff Williams said.
Sgt. Baumberger earns an annual salary of $58,170, according to records obtained by Eyewitness News. Since being on placed more than a month ago, Sgt. Baumberger has earned more than $4800 despite remaining on leave. By the time the hearing happens in mid-June, Sgt. Baumberger will have made close to $10,000 despite not working.
Under state statute, a deputy can be suspended without pay for up to 15 days, according to Sheriff Eric Williams. By contract, Sheriff Williams said he can't suspended a deputy without pay for more than 5 days without the deputy having a right to an appeal before the Merit Board.
"The system is designed the way that it is for a lot of reasons," Sheriff Williams said. "While sometimes it appears to be moving slowly... the reality is that it's protection for everybody to make sure that everything is done right, properly and we don't skip any corners. If I wasn't sitting here [as Sheriff] and didn't understand how the system works, I might find that frustrating that someone is being paid to sit at home right now. But that's the nature of the beast and that's how it has to be right now.
Sheriff Williams also said current Chief Deputy Dave Wedding has been involved in the administrative investigation since it began. Because of this, there will be a 'seamless transition' when Chief Deputy Wedding takes over as sheriff on Friday, according to Sheriff Williams.
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