LA PORTE – Allegations of stalking the mayor of La Porte were dismissed Friday against Jeff Galey who was allowed to go home after sentenced for a similar case involving another individual.
Galey, 38, was sentenced for Class A misdemeanor trespassing.
Under terms of a guilty plea, he was given credit for time served in the La Porte County Jail since his arrest in February. He also was placed on 127 days probation.
In exchange for the plea, two counts of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy were dismissed against Galey wearing an orange jail uniform with shackles on both ankles while seated next to his attorney Ryan Beall.
The trespassing conviction involves Galey leaving a note for a female employee at First Source Bank in La Porte less than two weeks after told March 1 by police not to return to any of the bank's two branches.
The previous month, Galey allegedly violated restraining orders issued at the request of mayor Blair Milo.
According to court documents, Galey and Milo met during the campaign last year and communicated about politics through e-mails. The mayor quit responding when messages from Galey started to become strange. According to police, Galey also showed up at meetings attended by Milo once she became mayor and waited for her after the meetings for long durations.
He also began showing up at her residence uninvited and on at least one occasion left roses inside her screen door.
The charges dismissed involve Galey allegedly violating the protective order February 2 when he allegedly posted a remark on Milo's government FACEBOOK page and asking the city engineer eight days later to tell Milo that he was interested in a city position.
Beall said there were alot of defense arguments that resulted in prosecutors agreeding to dismiss the cases involving Milo.
He said a government FACEBOOK is an open forum and there were questions legally on whether a posting on a government page constitutes a protective order violation.
Milo on her government FACEBOOK page revealed work had begun on developing a strategic plan for the city.
Galey's response to her FACEBOOK posting was ''would love to see the plan,'' according to court documents.
Under terms of his probation, Galey was ordered not to have contact with the mayor or the bank.
Beall said no other safeguards were made part of his probation but the protective order issued for the mayor is still in effect until 2014.
''I think Jeff is a little overzealous. I think there's some overreaction from the parties involved as well,'' said Beall.
La Porte County Deputy Prosecutor John Lake said he was prepared to let a jury decide all three charges until a state supreme court decision June 29 opened the door for the case to be resolved without having to go to trial.
The high court ruled a defendant even with an account at a bank can still trespass because an account is not actual bank property and a warning not to return applies only to real estate.
Galey held an account at the bank, which later returned the money to Galey in the courtroom to prevent him from having any excuse to come back.
''We felt the trespass case was the strongest case and that's what he wanted to plead to,'' said Lake.
After the alleged violations of the protective orders issued for Milo, police said Galey was found covered in talcum powder and proclaiming to be delusional with possible paranoid schizophrenia.
He was soon admitted into the psychiatric unit at I-U Health La Porte Hospital.