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Indiana DOC Hires Convicted Former Legislator for Re-Entry Job

A former Indiana democratic state representative convicted of impersonating a public servant was hired by the Indiana Department of Corrections to run its re-entry program at the Branchville Correctional Facility.

In June 2009, Dennie Oxley II attempted to avoid arrest for public intoxication by claiming he was a state lawmaker. Under Indiana’s Constitution, state legislators cannot be arrested for misdemeanors while the legislature is in session. Oxley, however, was no longer a lawmaker; after leaving the legislature he ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2008, but lost.

Police had responded to calls concerning a shoeless woman who was lying on the ground at a gas station. The woman was a 21-year-old former House intern, and Oxley was stopped after he was seen running into an alley carrying a pair of shoes. Previously, in February 2009, he had been charged with DUI in connection with a minor accident.

Oxley pleaded guilty in December 2009 to impersonating a public servant and received three months’ probation. He was hired three months later for his new job at Branchville, a medium-security 1,300-bed facility, where he will be paid $52,000 a year “to help meet strategic goals of reducing recidivism and preparing offenders for re-entry.”

Corrections Commissioner Edwin Buss said he didn’t believe that Oxley’s transgressions “should disqualify him from state service.” Oxley’s father, a state representative at the time, was a member of Branchville’s Community Advisory Board.


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