The Richmond Register

Crime

June 24, 2014

Ex-prosecutor’s felony charge reduced, then dismissed

RICHMOND — On June 10, a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony, against a former Assistant Madison County Attorney was reduced and then dismissed in Madison District Court.

According to court documents and a statement from Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock, the endangerment charge stemmed from a May 17 incident in which Mark Wickersham, 47, was charged with driving under the influence with a child in his vehicle.

He also was charged with having no insurance, a charge which court documents show was diverted June 10.

The case was heard by Judge Mary Jane Phelps of the 14th District that includes Bourbon, Scott and Woodford counties, and prosecuted by Clark County Attorney Brian Thomas after Madison County officials recused themselves.

Wickersham resigned from the Madison County Attorney’s office about two years ago, County Attorney Marc Robbins said.

After the charge was reduced to second-degree endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor, Phelps dismissed the charge with prejudice, meaning it cannot be reinstated.

Thomas signed the dismissal form, indicating he agreed to the action.

A person who answered the phone in Thomas’ Winchester office said he was on another call and took a message, but he did not return the newspaper’s call.

Wickersham’s DUI case is scheduled to be heard Tuesday, July 15, when results of a blood alcohol test is expected to be available, according to court documents.

Wickersham was hired March 4 as safety director for the Scott County School District, according to its website.

Wickersham asked for and was granted a leave for personal and health reasons for an unspecified time, said Rick Culross, director of human resources at Scott County Schools. He would not say whether it was granted before or after Wickersham’s May 17 arrest.

When a district employee faces a criminal charge, “We review every situation individually,” Culross said.

Asked in an email,why Wickersham’s case was not included in a routine Crimes of the Day news release as similar cases usally are, RPD Chief Brock said:

“Not all cases make it onto COD, even some that have more significant charges. If the report comes in late or the citation is not seen, it might get missed.”

He denied giving Wickersham preferential treatment.

“I have put things on COD that involved relatives and friends of mine, so I don’t pick and choose based on who people are, and I certainly don’t feel obligated to make some statement every time something doesn't get on COD that the press thinks should have made it there.

“If that’s the case, then we shouldn’t do COD because we can never make it totally timely or all inclusive. But we don’t omit cases simply because of who the person is.”

Asked if the Register could obtain a copy of Wickersham’s arrest report, Brock said, “We do not release reports on cases pending adjudication. Once the prosecution is completed, it’s an open record and all are entitled to it.”

The chief said he had no idea where a Lexington TV station got information that it attributed to the police report, “but none of it came from RPD.”

The district court clerk’s office closed before the Register could request a copy of the case file to see if it contained the arrest report.

Register news writer Crystal Wylie and editor Bill Robinson contributed to this report.

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