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Jeffersonville attorney Larry Wilder found asleep in trash can

Jeffersonville attorney Larry Wilder was found asleep by police in his neighbor’s overturned city garbage can Wednesday morning, after neighbors called police when they woke to find their trash strewn on the ground and a man inside the receptacle.

Jeffersonville Police Chief Tim Deeringer said Wilder was cooperative when police arrived at the home on Elk Pointe Boulevard and was able to walk back to his home — next door.

Wilder’s son and daughter, both adults, were home and able to take care of him from there, Deeringer said.

No arrest was made as a result of the incident.

“There was no crime committed,” Deeringer said.

Although police records describe Wilder as “10-47” — police code for intoxicated — upon officers’ arrival, no breath alcohol or sobriety test was administered. It’s an officer’s discretion on what actions to take in such situations, the chief said. Typically, if someone is that close to their home, they would just be escorted to their residence.

Police records show that officers arrived on the scene just before 7 a.m. Wednesday.

A neighbor, Roberta Embry, said her husband found Wilder inside the can when walking out of the house that morning.

“He (Wilder) took all the trash out and laid it (the trash can) on its side,” she said.

Embry said she did not notice any drinking at Wilder’s residence the night before, but said her husband had. Her husband declined to comment on the situation when called by a reporter.

Wilder represents the Jeffersonville City Council and has acted as the city’s attorney on several high profile cases, including the legal wrangling regarding the city’s annexation.

He recently presented arguments before the Indiana Court of Appeals in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Jeffersonville over a ban on sex offenders in city parks.

In 2008, he was the highest paid of Jeffersonville’s six city attorneys, receiving $107,000 in tax dollars. That’s four times more than the next highest-paid city attorney.

He’s also attorney for the Greater Clark County Schools system, as well as operating his own private practice, located on Court Avenue in Jeffersonville.

Jeffersonville City Councilman Ron Grooms said the incident was “an embarrassment.”

“The city council should consider action to reprimand or place [Wilder] on leave or take appropriate action,” Grooms said.

He said it was unfortunate, noting that the Wilder family has gone through a lot recently.

Wilder and his ex-wife, Jeffersonville Clerk-Treasurer Peggy Wilder, were divorced last year. She’s been accused of improperly using city credit cards, a scandal Larry Wilder was pulled into not only because they were married at the time, but also because he repeatedly publicly defended her.

Councilman Nathan Samuel lives in Wilder’s neighborhood, Elk Pointe, and had not heard any commotion the night before the incident.

“It seems like very unusual behavior. I definitely haven’t seen him like that personally.”

Samuel said he’d want to find out what happened from Wilder’s standpoint before making any decision on how to act. He noted that Wilder was not an employee of the city but a contracted attorney on his own time and “without question he’s an excellent litigator.”

Councilmen Ed Zastawny and Keith Fetz also declined to comment until they heard Wilder’s side of the story.

The Evening News called Wilder and sent him a text message requesting comment Wednesday. He was not reached by press time Thursday morning.

Source: The Evening News & The Tribune

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