Marion County sheriff's deputy fired after DUI arrest

Matthew Milharcic

A Marion County sheriff's deputy has lost his job after being arrested for driving drunk.

Matthew Milharcic, 58, was arrested early Friday morning in Hendricks County. The Marion County Sheriff's Department says the deputy was terminated Friday morning following his arrest.

Deputies with the Hendricks County Sheriff's Department were on routine patrol when they spotted a vehicle on County Road 100 North - a continuation of W. 10th Street - veer off the roadway twice.

The Hendricks County deputies turned around to follow the vehicle, which ran off the roadway a second time. They pulled the vehicle over and the driver identified himself as Matthew Milharcic.

According to the police report, Milharcic had slurred speech, glassy eyes and slow reflexes. He smelled strongly of alcohol and admitted to the deputies that he'd been drinking. He also said he was a Marion County sheriff's deputy and that his car was an unmarked Marion County Sheriff's Department vehicle.

Milharcic failed field sobriety tests. He was taken to the Hendricks County Jail, where he failed further sobriety tests and blew a .21 blood alcohol content on the "datamaster" test.

The sheriff immediately suspended Milharcic, pending his firing.

"Even though it's an allegation, it's a pretty good indication the allegation is true, so we have to deal with it right away in a case like this," Marion County Sheriff John Layton said.

Milharcic was with the Marion County Sheriff's Department for 37 years and served in the Criminal Warrants section. He had no history of disciplinary issues or actions.

"This arrest was most unfortunate. Matthew Milharcic had been a good officer for many years. I thank the Hendricks County Sheriff's Office for getting Milharcic off the road without incident. Once again, we have demonstrated that no one is above the law, and we have zero tolerance for lawbreakers of all types," said Layton.

Milharcic was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a misdemeanor. His vehicle was turned over to a supervisor with the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

Milharcic retired from the department several years ago, but Layton had hired him back as a special deputy in the Criminal Warrants section.

In that section of the department, Milharcic commanded three dozen deputies responsible for locating and arresting suspects accused of committing serious crimes. Until now, his personnel file administrators say contained numerous commendations and not a single complain or reprimand.

"It is unbelievable that this deputy might do something like this," Layton said. "It's absolutely...well, it's sorrowful, it really is. But business is business."

Milharcic bonded out of jail Friday afternoon. He has 10 days to contest his firing.