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Arrest warrant issued for fmr. lt. gov. candidate

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An arrest warrant has been issued for Indiana’s 2008 Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, who is charged with misrepresenting himself as a state legislator to avoid arrest for public intoxication.

A spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor’s office said former state Rep. Dennie Oxley II was to have surrendered by 1 p.m. Wednesday but had not turned himself in by mid-evening.

Earlier Wednesday, prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and impersonating a public servant against Oxley, who was found drunk with a 21-year-old legislative intern at a downtown gas station last week.

A telephone message seeking comment was left at Oxley’s home in the southern Indiana town of English, about 50 miles west of Louisville, Ky.

“We had an agreement with the defense attorney that he turn himself in at 1 o’clock and he has not done that,” said Mario V. Massillamany, a spokesman for Prosecutor Carl Brizzi. “There’s a warrant issued for his arrest, so if he is pulled over or officers go to get him, he will be arrested and taken to the arrestee processing center.”

Oxley, 38, and the woman who was later identified as an intern with the House Democratic Caucus were found drunk at a gas station about 1 a.m. Friday, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

An Indianapolis police officer found the woman lying on the ground in disheveled clothing and saw Oxley carrying the woman’s shoes and walking unsteadily away from the station toward an alley, the affidavit said. Oxley allegedly provided a legislative ID when he was asked for identification.

The officer called a supervisor to the scene, and Oxley allegedly claimed he was a state representative attending the Legislature’s special session. Police then told Oxley he wouldn’t be arrested because he had immunity under the state constitution. State legislators can be arrested during a legislative session only in cases of treason, felony and breach of the peace.

Oxley allegedly claimed he knew the woman but wasn’t with her, but surveillance video showed the pair getting out of a taxi together. The affidavit said the woman was incoherent and was taken to a hospital and later released. Oxley was released in the custody of a friend.

Police later determined Oxley is not a current member of the General Assembly, though his father is.

Oxley, a businessman and former assistant school superintendent, was elected to the Legislature in 1998, and was the majority whip for House Democrats before becoming gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson’s running mate last year. The Democratic ticket lost to incumbent Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman in November.

It wasn’t immediately clear what effect the new charges would have on a drunken driving charge pending against Oxley in southern Indiana. He was arrested for drunken driving in February after he crashed into a parked car in the town of Taswell, which is near English.

Barry Brown, a special prosecutor in Bloomington, said last week that a hearing on that charge was on hold pending developments in the Indianapolis case.

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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