Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Local News

March 4, 2013

Attorney banned from prison after reported relations with inmate

Prison official says visitation rules remain unchanged

Cass County attorney Lisa Traylor-Wolff was banned from the Miami Correctional Facility after she reportedly had a sexual encounter with an inmate in the visitation room, according to a facility spokesperson.

Traylor-Wolff, who is also a senior judge, was delivered three formal charges Monday from the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications after she was reported to have engaged in kissing and excessive fondling with her client. Ann Hubbard, public information officer at Miami Correctional Facility, said she believes guards from the visitation room reported the incidents, though they were reported to take place in a room outside of video camera observation.

According to an official statement from the Indiana Supreme Court,  Traylor-Wolff and the defendant were seen “engaged in excessive fondling with intent to sexually gratify over the clothing” while in the visitation room on June 15, 2012. The cause number in the statement leads to Scott Wampler, a 26-year-old Monticello man, who Traylor-Wolff represented as a public defender in an August 2011 burglary and criminal confinement case.

Traylor-Wolff is reported to have been involved in a “romantic relationship” with Wampler since May 2012, when she submitted briefs for Wampler’s appeal of his 40-year-sentence. She also represented him in his original case.

Hubbard said the reported incidents resulted in Traylor-Wolff being banned from visiting any clients at the facility. She said that she believed Traylor-Wolff could request to visit the facility at a later date, but she would need permission from the superintendent.

“I know there’s a certain time period,” Hubbard said.

Dave Arnold, president of the Cass County Commissioners, said the county has a contract with Sheryl Pherson and Bob Murray, who are responsible for managing the county’s public defenders. The contract outlines that the public defenders must be “in good standing with the bar” to continue in their jobs.

Arnold said he was not sure whether the pending charges would affect the contract with Traylor-Wolff, who is one of the county’s six public defenders.

Neither Pherson nor Murray could be reached for comment.

Traylor-Wolff has 20 days to file a response to the charges, after which she awaits a public hearing to decide on the penalty. She could face penalties ranging from a public reprimand to losing her law license or being permanently banned from holding judicial office in Indiana.

Wampler received a loss of jail credit time and a disciplinary write-up, according to the formal statement from the Indiana Supreme Court. Hubbard said she could not comment on what happened during his disciplinary hearing.

He was then transferred Jan. 9, 2013, to Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

Hubbard said she believes the facility’s legal representative filed the letter with the Indiana Supreme Court after officers reported the incidents.  

“If it’s documented then it must have been brought up,” Hubbard said.

The visitation room is monitored by two staff members and a video camera. But attorneys are able to meet with their clients in a room just off of the visitation room, Hubbard said.

She said attorneys are able to close the door if the visitation room is busy, but the door has a large window in it, allowing the guards to see the top half of the room .

“They can monitor their visit or meeting through that window,” Hubbard said.  

The facilities rules outline that visitors are allowed a “brief hug and a kiss” at the beginning and end of the visit as well as hand-holding, otherwise they’re in violation of the facility rules.

“Anytime there’s any physical contact other than what’s allowed, then it’s a violation,” Hubbard said.

She said she did not believe an incident like this had happened before.

Hubbard added that she did not believe the reported incidents had altered any visitation rules.

“I don’t believe anything’s changed in visitation,” Hubbard said.  

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Superintendent of Ind Ed 05 [Duplicate] State Superintendent Glenda Ritz visits Peru, discusses new standards PERU -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Tuesday she is comfortable with the quick pace at which new academic standards are moving from concept to classroom. The Indiana Department of Education released a final draft of new

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-PT041614 Flora Doc1.jpg Flora physician remains after health group's departure FLORA -- The safe at a downtown bank building, once used for protecting cash and valuables, is now stocked with medical supplies. The former bank office on East Main Street became Flora Family Medicine last month after it was made possible for one lo

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT041614 Rob Visher.jpg Nashville musician will play to raise funds for Emmaus A Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School student's senior project will come to fruition this Saturday with an interactive live music show to benefit a local charity. When Morgan Barger, a senior at Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School, set out to plan her senior project

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police blotter: April 15, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 15, 2014

  • Fry sentenced to 55 years, $10K fine Loren Fry, 78, was sentenced today to 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine after being convicted of murder last month in the 2011 deadly shooting of Dave Schroder, a 76-year-old Logansport man. Three members of Schroder's extended family took the st

    April 15, 2014

  • Lotus Scarf NOT TONED Logan native's scarves on QVC Bobbi Benish loves wearing scarves in stylish knots. Her problem? The knots kept falling out. That's what the Logansport native set out to solve with a modified scarf she developed, called the Easy-Style Lotus Scarf. It's also the latest addition to

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood drive to honor Kathy Dingo Kathy Dingo felt strongly about giving back to the Logansport community. And now, the community has a chance to do the same in her honor. A blood drive will be held in Dingo's memory from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23. The date of the blood drives

    April 15, 2014

  • NWS-PT041514 farmers market 1.jpg Farmers market starting in Flora FLORA -- Carroll County is getting its own farmers market this summer. A pair of volunteers are launching a once-a-month market this summer for produce and artisan vendors that has already generated significant interest among local residents. "We do

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-PT041514 Pets3.jpg Keeping tabs on the cat population For every one person born, 10 kittens are born. And if you ask Dr. Tess Peavy, a veterinarian who visited Logansport Monday with the Neuter Scooter, that math doesn't work. But with the work Peavy and her assistants did Monday, the math is looking be

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Chittick farm named Hoosier Homestead FLORA -- Land is in John Chittick's blood. Since his great-grandfather Archibald Chittick moved to Carroll County, one or another of John's ancestors has owned farmland near Cutler. John Chittick looked after the family land for decades before retiri

    April 15, 2014