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Former officer to keep benefits despite charges

Posted at 11:09 AM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 20:12:42-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A former IMPD officer who resigned amid allegations of cocaine dealing is eligible to receive $337 a month in retirement benefits.

Nikolas Layton, son of Marion County Sheriff John Layton, is charged with four felonies for cocaine dealing and possession.

PREVIOUS | Sheriff's son, IMPD officer arrested on charges of dealing cocaine

In December, a confidential informant working for IMPD purchased cocaine and hydrocodone from all three of the suspects over a period of 15 days. That informant recorded Layton snorting cocaine and then selling it.

Nikolas Layton’s criminal trial is scheduled for June 8.

Layton resigned his position from IMPD January 12 following his arrest.

However, Call 6 Investigates has learned Layton also retired from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on January 12 at the age of 35.

He was hired as a deputy on August 13, 2005 and had more than 10 years of credit service under the retirement plan, according to Michael Bindner, attorney for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2007, Marion County consolidated, combining patrol and investigative responsibilities of Indianapolis Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office into what is now IMPD.

“Retirement Plan participants vest in retirement benefits at the time they have at least 10 years of credited service in the Retirement Plan and attain age 30,” read a statement from Bindner. “Mr. Layton has not elected to begin payment of his monthly benefit as of this date.”

Call 6 Investigates asked who is paying for the retirement plan.

“The Trust is funded by a general appropriation provided by Marion County, by statutory fees generated by certain responsibilities, such as the collection of delinquent taxes, and by participant contributions which are currently set at 4.25% of base pay plus longevity pay,” read the response from Bindner.

Criminal charges nor a criminal conviction would not void or eliminate an officer’s retirement benefits.

A deputy can lose benefits if he or she stops making required contributions, said Bindner.

Nikolas Layton told Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney he deserves his retirement benefits, despite the pending criminal case.

“Despite the recent events, the last 10-and-a-half years still happened,” said Nikolas Layton. “I still protected the citizens of Marion County for 10 years.”

Layton said he is working to get his life back on track and may not collect his retirement benefits for another 20 to 30 years.

“You receive more money if you wait,” said Nikolas Layton. “There shouldn’t be any concerns about this.”

Nikolas Layton declined to comment on the criminal case against him.

Sheriff Layton declined to comment on his son’s retirement, but did release a statement at the time of the arrest:

"This is obviously a heart breaking moment as a parent, especially as a parent who is also the Sheriff, and even more as the father of a police officer. I have never tolerated this kind of alleged behavior in law enforcement. I have full faith in the criminal justice system, and I feel certain that justice will be done."

Sources tell Call 6 Investigates the investigation into Nikolas Layton first began when a federal agency first tipped off IMPD's Special Investigative Unit that Layton and two others were dealing drugs.

Records show that in 2014, Layton was suspended for two days without pay for not keeping his department-issued firearm safe and secure.