By STAN MADDUX
7:44 PM EST, February 29, 2012
During her campaign, LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo shook hands with a man who would later wind up facing criminal charges for allegedly violating court orders to leave her alone.
Jeff Galey, 38, was arraigned Wednesday in LaPorte Circuit Court on two counts of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Specifically, it's alleged that Galey violated two protective orders issued by the court in January at the request of Milo, 29, who felt unsafe because of his behavior.
According to court documents, Milo first contacted LaPorte police on Jan. 6 after Galey showed up at her home uninvited and began knocking on her door.
Milo did not answer and, eventually, Galey left.
She told LaPorte Police Chief Adam Klimczak she first met Galey during her 2011 mayoral campaign and there were other prior incidents where Galey made her feel uncomfortable.
At first, Milo said there were politically related e-mail exchanges during the campaign with Galey.
Milo told investigators she stopped responding to his e-mails, though, when his messages started becoming strange.
Without any further e-mail exchanges, Galey attended a ceremony Jan. 1 offering congratulations to Milo and other newly elected officials being sworn into office, according to court documents.
She said Galey also began showing up at city council and other meetings and waiting for her after those sessions for long durations.
On Jan. 4, Milo said he attended a Board of Public Works meeting and made “odd comments” during the public comment period and, again, waited for her afterward.
According to police, it's also alleged that Galey left roses for Milo inside the screen door of her home after he was issued a no trespassing warning.
The investigation revealed Galey is possibly bipolar and was not taking his medication. On Jan. 10, police said he checked himself into IU Health LaPorte Hospital where he was admitted into the psychiatric ward.
Galey was covered from head to toe in talcum powder and told police he was afraid that he was going to hurt himself or someone else if he didn't get help.
He also described himself as possibly having paranoid schizophrenia, according to court documents.
One of the alleged protective order violations occurred on Feb. 2 when Galey posted a remark on Milo's Facebook page.
She revealed work had begun on developing a strategic plan for the city and Galey replied he “would love to see the plan,” according to court documents.
Eight days later, police said the second violation happened when Galey tried to get a city employee to express to Milo that he was interested in a city position.
The protective orders prohibit Galey from having any direct or indirect contact with Milo, according to court documents.
During his arraignment, Galey asked to be released from jail on his own recognizance, saying he doesn't have money to post bond.
“I've never been arrested my entire life,” he said.
Galey said he also wanted out because he's been having difficulty reaching parents and friends by telephone from the jail about any assistance they might be able to offer him.
Judge Tom Alevizos rejected his request.
Alevizos set bond for Galey at $500 cash, which is the standard amount for a Class A misdemeanor offense.
Galey is also contesting the issuance of the protective orders and has a hearing set for March 6 to argue why the orders should be lifted.
If Galey is still in jail, Alevizos said he would issue an order for Galey to be transported to the courtroom for that hearing.
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