UPDATE: Former Johnson County prosecutor suspended from practicing law after domestic violence conviction


Bradley Cooper

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UPDATE: The Indiana State Supreme Court has suspended Cooper former Johnson County Prosecutor from practicing law in Indiana.

An except from the court filing submitted Friday, August 2 reads:

“IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Respondent is suspended from the practice of law in this State, effective immediately. Respondent is ordered to fulfill the duties of a suspended attorney under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26). The interim suspension shall continue until further order of this Court or final resolution of any resulting disciplinary action, provided no other suspension is in effect.”

Original story:

FRANKLIN, Ind.– Johnson County Prosecutor Bradley Cooper received his sentence Wednesday in a domestic violence case and submitted his resignation.

Cooper pleaded guilty in April to felony charges of criminal confinement, identity deception and official misconduct, as well as a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery in connection with an incident in Trafalgar in March.

Johnson County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene in the 500 block of West State Road 252 shortly before midnight on March 4, 2019 after receiving a 911 call.

According to the police report, the alleged victim had gone to her neighbor’s house after the disturbance, asking to call 911. She didn’t initially give her name to dispatch. When deputies arrived, the victim spoke with them and they noted her right eye was swollen and bruised. She was later taken to the hospital and treated for bruises, scratches and a contusion to her right eye.

Once deputies realized the allegations were being made against a public official, they contacted Sheriff Burgess, who told them to turn the case over to Indiana State Police.

As part of his plea deal, Cooper will spend roughly 18 months (540 days) on probation, pay a fine and be removed from his post as a prosecutor. He’ll serve no jail time.

The victim, who FOX59 is not identifying, issued this statement when the plea deal was reached:

“Today, justice was served. Bradley made mistakes. He admitted to those mistakes in court and is now willing to accept responsibility. I forgive him. Afterall, he is human just like you and me. I have faith that God is working behind the scenes to turn this nightmare into something good. My prayer is that he will come out on the other side a better human being because of all of this.”

The victim was in court Wednesday. In a victim impact statement, the state said she was satisfied with the proposed sentence and the process. It also said she was pleased that Cooper accepted responsibility early in the process.

Cooper apologized to her directly in court. He also took full responsibility and said she did not attack him.

Indiana Supreme Court said prosecutors are paid the 2019 annual salary of $151,137. A spokesperson said the salary is paid from the Indiana Supreme Court’s Office of Judicial Administration budget, which administers payroll for prosecutors.

“Mr. Cooper has been receiving his annual salary this year until late last week when the OJA placed Mr. Cooper in no-pay status pending review of the matter,” said Kathryn Dolan, spokesperson for Indiana Supreme Court.

Now that the case is closed, Johnson County’s Republican Caucus will pick a new prosecutor. It’s chair plans to hold a meeting in the next month.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Joe Villanueva was sworn in as acting county prosecutor on Wednesday afternoon.
The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office held a press conference Thursday, announcing the transition of administration as a result of the resignation of Cooper.
“To the citizens of Johnson County, you deserve to have a prosecutor who upholds the highest standards of integrity and professionalism,” said Villanueva.
In a statement, Villanueva stressed that he is his own man with his own vision for the office.
He concluded by saying, “We stand today, ready to take care of business competently, impartially and with integrity. I expect nothing less from my team, and that’s what I intend to deliver.”

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