Married Elkhart police officers who accessed man’s assets suspended

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An Elkhart police officer has been demoted and suspended without pay after an investigation found that he and his wife, also an officer, gained access to the financial assets of a man his wife first met through official police business.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 4:05 PM

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana police officer has been demoted and suspended without pay after an investigation found that he and his wife, also an officer, gained access to the financial assets of a man his wife first met through official police business.

Elkhart police Chief Kris Seymore had originally recommended that officers Nathan Lanzen and Taryn Lanzen be terminated for undermining the public’s trust in the Elkhart Police Department.

But the Elkhart Police Merit Commission voted 4-1 on Monday to approve an agreement under which Nathan Lanzen admitted to conduct unbecoming of an officer and will be demoted from sergeant to corporal.

He will also be suspended for 30 days without pay for maintaining an inappropriate relationship.

Last week, the merit board found that Taryn Lanzen had violated department policies and suspended her for 60 days without pay.

She was also placed on probationary status for six months upon her return.

An investigation by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department found that the couple began a relationship with a 58-year-old man in June 2020 after Taryn Lanzen was called to the man’s home after she had driven over his lawn.

That probe found that less than three months later, the couple had access to the man’s banking and retirement accounts, and Taryn Lanzen had been named his power of attorney, his healthcare representative and the beneficiary on his will and 401(k) plan.

Taryn Lanzen also wrote a $32,000 check from the man’s account to buy a replica Shelby Cobra sports car, the investigation found.

That money is now subject to a lawsuit and a countersuit filed by the man and Taryn Lanzen.

In addition, the couple transferred the deed of the man’s house to a house-flipping company they own, and in doing so, Nathan Lanzen signed as a witness even though he had not witnessed his wife and the man signing the deed.

Elizabeth Bemis, an attorney representing both officers, said they had no comment on the allegations or disciplinary action but “look forward to moving forward upon their return to work and are committed to serving their department and the citizens of Elkhart.”

The Rev. Jean Mayes, the merit board member who voted against the agreement involving Nathan Lanzen, said Monday that “our department should be held to a higher standard than I’ve seen.”

“I’m just really, really not feeling comfortable with the decision that the board has made, mainly because of confidence in the community for our officers,” she said. “This for me was a gross misconduct.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1112735

Reported Deaths: 17652
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1450832237
Lake721711247
Allen66684881
Hamilton50838487
St. Joseph49493645
Elkhart40079546
Vanderburgh34553496
Tippecanoe30654274
Johnson27559465
Hendricks26181383
Porter25556386
Madison21002452
Clark20146278
Vigo18966309
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Delaware16666300
Howard16666313
Monroe16556220
Kosciusko14216167
Hancock13061185
Bartholomew12894190
Warrick12152190
Wayne12036268
Floyd11968226
Grant11901242
Morgan10360192
Boone9815122
Noble9234122
Henry9142167
Marshall9062147
Dearborn8923100
Dubois8815139
Shelby8210129
Cass8134127
Lawrence8018185
DeKalb7761108
Jackson764093
Huntington7601113
Gibson7074118
Montgomery7052123
Harrison6923100
Knox6896115
Steuben665889
Miami6563111
Whitley655360
Putnam641584
Clinton624579
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Jasper610892
Jefferson5796104
Ripley555893
Adams540581
Daviess5062117
Scott488280
Wells4814104
White475669
Greene4680100
Clay462862
Decatur4597110
Jennings448867
Fayette448396
LaGrange425990
Posey407544
Randolph3908107
Washington389856
Fountain373464
Fulton362474
Spencer360747
Starke353574
Owen351277
Sullivan347554
Orange329172
Jay328850
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Franklin290844
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Tipton250066
Parke249630
Pike247244
Blackford221244
Pulaski208559
Newton181752
Brown176150
Crawford168829
Benton166517
Martin151820
Switzerland147212
Warren135316
Union121016
Ohio92113
Unassigned0592

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1708292

Reported Deaths: 26587
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1785651827
Cuyahoga1669492640
Hamilton1132851528
Montgomery801921395
Summit715401199
Lucas627081020
Butler56598805
Stark535121171
Lorain41895642
Warren35785412
Mahoning35635771
Lake32124495
Clermont31120363
Trumbull27130616
Delaware27046182
Licking26528336
Medina25825351
Fairfield24511287
Greene24265372
Clark21980387
Portage21117281
Richland20947340
Wood20015246
Allen18870320
Miami17196348
Columbiana16795332
Muskingum16644206
Wayne15664306
Tuscarawas14329360
Marion13250194
Ashtabula12618232
Erie12602198
Scioto12416184
Pickaway12208153
Ross11639225
Hancock11448173
Geauga10863175
Lawrence10617172
Belmont10416234
Huron9765158
Jefferson9601227
Union954075
Sandusky9272166
Seneca8853157
Knox8761170
Washington8675158
Darke8365180
Athens835396
Ashland7956149
Auglaize7897117
Shelby7459133
Defiance7331115
Crawford7233150
Fulton7167112
Brown7135115
Logan6975108
Guernsey691484
Mercer689998
Highland6718119
Clinton6493106
Madison648089
Williams645199
Preble6243140
Putnam6220120
Jackson578896
Champaign578487
Perry564979
Coshocton5623104
Ottawa561999
Morrow515264
Fayette492170
Hardin485999
Gallia469678
Van Wert465693
Pike463476
Adams4569109
Henry432378
Hocking407193
Holmes3989140
Wyandot374973
Carroll363978
Paulding323851
Meigs304959
Monroe235561
Noble219647
Morgan215238
Harrison210953
Vinton186937
Unassigned06
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