Columbus police officers arrested, accused of ghost employment

Dan Meister. Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

Two Columbus police officers were arrested today by Indiana State Police after an investigation into ghost employment at Columbus Regional Health.

Dan Meister and Ron May were taken into custody this afternoon on charges of official misconduct, ghost employment and theft.

The case began in November 2018, when Columbus Police made an internal investigation and then asked Indiana State Police to conduct an investigation into criminal activity of the two officers. Over a three and a half year period, dating back to February 2015, the officers allegedly worked off-duty jobs providing security at CRH while actually on-duty with Columbus Police. Their shifts with the two agencies overlapped, meaning they were being paid by both the hospital and the police department for the same hours.

Ronald May. Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

According to State Police, Meister had overlapped hours on 52 occasions, while May is accused of having an overlap on 62 occasions.

After the investigation came to light in January 2019, Columbus police announced that May, a 31-year Columbus police officer, had agreed to retire and Meister, at the time a lieutenant with 22 years at the department, was demoted to the rank of patrolman.