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Ex-sheriff gets fine, probation over 2013 prostitution case

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) – A retired southern Indiana sheriff was ordered Monday to pay $4,000 in fines and serve two years’ probation under a plea deal in which he admitted lying to federal investigators about his relationship with a prostitute.

Former Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden fought back tears as he apologized for his actions during the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.

“I apologize for my crime, and I apologize for the weakness of my character that brings me here,” Rodden told the court.

Pratt said Rodden’s actions “have helped to tarnish the reputation of law enforcement everywhere,” but the judge considered the 165 letters written by Rodden’s supporters and his contributions to the community in her sentencing decision, WAVE-TV reported.

Rodden pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to federal investigators, the News and Tribune reported. Five other counts were dismissed.

Rodden was placed on administrative leave in July following his arrest on charges of lying to the FBI and encouraging a prostitute to hide evidence of a 2013 encounter at a Louisville, Kentucky, hotel in which he allegedly paid her $300 for oral sex.

Prosecutors said Rodden, who served as sheriff from 2007 until his resignation last fall, gave the woman clothing and other items containing the sheriff’s department insignia so she could obtain a government employee’s rate at hotels. He later urged her to get rid of the items, according to court records.

Rodden was the second Indiana law enforcement official targeted last year in investigations related to a prostitute. Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell resigned in June amid an investigation into his relationship with a prostitute.

Campbell wasn’t charged.