The attorney for the former home detention officer has responded to the special prosecutor’s objection to an earlier motion.

The earlier motion, filed March 19 by David Kolbe, attorney for Patrick Olson of Winona Lake, asked that Special Prosecutor Daniel J. Sigler Jr. of Whitley County be removed.

Olson, the former Kosciusko County Community Corrections home detention officer, was charged in October 2017 with aiding an escape by removing a woman’s ankle bracelet monitoring device. He and the woman then traveled to Valparaiso and spent the weekend together.

In the petition to remove Sigler, Kolbe stated the records reflect Sigler failed to file any progress reports in the matter as required by statute. The governing statute permits the court to remove Sigler as special prosecutor.

On March 22, Sigler filed the state’s response objecting to the motion to remove him. He said the cause has been the subject of multiple, formal, pre-trial conferences with the court, and that the defendant never objected to or asked for clarification regarding the state’s charges or any matter relevant to the investigation and prosecution of the defendant. He also said the court has not asked for or otherwise requested a status report on the state’s investigation as discussed in Indiana code.

“The defendant agreed to a trial setting some months ago and expressed no confusion as to the status of the matter,” Sigler’s response says. “The status of the case is that it remains set for trial to a jury in November 2019.”

He said a hearing is set on the defendant’s motion to dismiss on May 16 at 1:15 p.m. If the court believes the defendant’s motion to dismiss Sigler requires a hearing, the state asks that it also be held at 1:15 p.m. May 16.

In Kolbe’s response to the state’s response, he says the statute is clear in that it is not the responsibility of the court to “ask for or otherwise request” the progress reports. It is “solely the duty of the special prosecutor to file progress reports at least once every six months.”

The state further suggests that the reports are with respect to investigation. Kolbe states the statute does not limit the requirement of reports to investigations only. “Instead, it requires reports during the special prosecutor’s term, which includes not only any investigation but prosecution of the case as well.”

Kolbe indicates the state implied in its motion that the purpose of the progress reports is to ensure that the defendant is aware of the status of the proceedings.

He says the state’s premise is flawed and that the reporting mandate is not designed to inform the defendant of the course of the proceedings.

“Any defendant would know the status of his or her case. The statute is designed to require the special prosecutor, without court request, to account to the court and the public. Thus the statute serves as a method of public accountability, a fundamental principal of due process of law,” Kolbe asserts.

In his conclusion, Kolbe says the court has the authority to remove the special prosecutor for failure to file progress reports and since the state failed to do so, Sigler should be removed.

“Of further concern is that the state special prosecutor has misstated to his court the plain language and meaning of the governing statute in opposing defendant’s motion for removal, which, in itself, raises further concerns,” Kolbe finishes.

In February Kolbe filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Olson. That motion states that Olson was denied a speedy trial; the court doesn’t have jurisdiction with respect to Count I (sexual misconduct with a service provider) as the county of proper venue is Porter; and the facts alleged in the probable cause affidavit with respect to Count II (aiding, inducing and causing escape) do not constitute an offense.

On Jan. 10, Olson decided to take his case to a jury trial.