INDIANAPOLIS – A law enforcement official in Center Township is facing charges after already having an extensive criminal history.
Deputy Constable Craig Regans is facing a handful of new charges, including unlawful possession of a firearm after previously being convicted of domestic battery.
Regans already had more than a dozen other previous charges, which raises questions as to how he got the job in the first place.
According to court documents obtained by FOX59/CBS4, an IMPD officer pulled over Regans Wednesday afternoon for expired plates. Regans showed the officer a badge and a Marion County Center Township Constable ID card. Records show the IMPD officer then found Regans had a gun that he could not legally own.
“There’s also federal law which states that individuals with domestic violence misdemeanors cannot use a firearm, cannot possess a firearm even in the course of official duties,” said Indiana University Professor of Law Jody Madeira.
A look at Regans’ criminal history reveals more than a dozen other past charges, including criminal recklessness, burglary and other domestic battery charges. All of these are charges that Madeira said are problematic for a law enforcement official according to the Indiana code.
“Several police departments state that individuals with domestic violence misdemeanor convictions actually cannot be police officers, and this includes Marion County,” she said.
FOX59/CBS4 spoke to Center Township Constable Denise Hatch about how Regans got the job as a deputy in the first place.
“I was not aware of the long list of charges,” she said.
FOX59/CBS4 then inquired why the Constable was not aware of Regans’ criminal record and why she did not run a criminal background check. Hatch said she used MyCase, which is a statewide database for all court cases across Indiana.
“That’s all I have,” she said. “I don’t have any funds.”
However, a simple search on MyCase revealed Regans’ lengthy criminal history. Constable Hatch said she did not know about all of them but did know about the domestic battery. She said she defends hiring Regans.
“You’re coming to me asking me why I gave someone a second chance,” she said. “I was elected by the people. I’m sure I was elected by a number of felons to give people a second chance.”
Hatch said she has about 45 other deputies and does not know the extent of any of their criminal histories either.
Hatch defends this all comes down to a matter of funding, but legal experts FOX59/CBS4 spoke to say that is not acceptable.