Lake police officer indicted on misconduct charges

2014-01-31T11:40:00Z 2014-03-04T16:49:11Z Lake police officer indicted on misconduct chargesBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
January 31, 2014 11:40 am  • 

CROWN POINT | A Lake County grand jury indicted a county police officer Thursday on charges of misconduct involving a Lowell woman last fall while the officer was on duty.

The Indiana State Police announced Friday that Sam Orlich Jr., 43, of Crown Point, a deputy with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department since March 2005, is being charged with official misconduct, a Class D felony.

The Indiana State Police Criminal Investigation Division began an investigation into Orlich on Sept. 19 after a 37-year-old woman came to the state police Lowell post to report sexual misconduct. The grand jury returned an indictment Thursday.

Orlich was booked and released after posting a cash bond Friday, state police said.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said Friday he placed Orlich on administrative leave after the allegations became known.

John Cantrell, a defense attorney representing Orlich, said his client didn't commit a crime and will be defending himself in court.

Buncich said he has instructed his attorney to present disciplinary charges against Orlich at the next meeting of the Lake County Police Merit Board.

The merit board is a panel of civilians appointed by the sheriff and police officers who oversee the hiring, firing and discipline of county police officers.

Buncich said he will let the board decide whether Orlich should be dismissed or otherwise punished. 

Buncich said Orlich remains on the payroll but relieved of police duties.

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