Greenfield police officer facing bribery charges

Lt. Terry Austin
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A Greenfield police officer is facing felony charges for allegedly bribing police to perform a traffic stop on his ex-wife.

Lt. Terry Austin, 42, is alleged to have offered three different police officers a $200 steak dinner to make the stop after learning his ex-wife, Koleki Wright Austin, had a suspended driver's license.

According to the probable cause documents, on February 18, Austin contacted McCordsville Police Officer Nathan Garner by text message, asking him to call Austin. When Garner called, he explained his ex-wife's driving status and Garner says he was offered a $200 gift card for a steak dinner for pulling her over for her driving status.

During the investigation, it was learned that Austin allegedly made the same offer to McCordsville Police Officer Shawn Brady, to pull his ex-wife over and tow her vehicle.

Records of text messages between Austin and the officers show him offering dinner for the traffic stop. In a February 18 text message to Fortville Police Officer Matt Fox, Austin wrote, "200.00 Ruth Chris !!!!! First one to nail her!!!!"

Fox told investigators he "didn't take the offer seriously," but replied to the text, "Love steak."

"Hell foxy u could use a 200.00 steak!! You might want to sit on her for that ! ;)," Austin wrote in a follow-up text message.

Greenfield Police became aware of the issue on February 26 and initiated an investigation by Indiana State Police that resulted in the criminal allegations against Austin.

"I felt it was in the best interest of the department and the Greenfield community to have an outside agency conduct the investigation. Thus insuring the greatest amount of transparency," Greenfield Police Chief John Jester said.

Jester tells Eyewitness News his department will begin an internal investigation to determine if any departmental policies were violated and, if they were, issue the necessary response.

Austin is facing felony charges of bribery and official misconduct in the investigation. He is an 18-year veteran of the Greenfield Police Department and currently serves as the day shift road patrol supervisor. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the department's investigation.

None of the other officers have been charged with any crimes in the incident.