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AG Nessel Charges Former Hillsdale County Deputy

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is encouraging other potential victims to come forward after charging a former deputy in Hillsdale County with misconduct.   

Todd Barkley, 46, of Brownstown Township, is charged with two counts of misconduct in office, which are five-year felonies.  

Given Barkley’s position as a deputy with the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsdale County judges recused themselves and the case will be heard by a Jackson County judge. 

Jackson County Judge Michael Klaeren arraigned Barkley Tuesday afternoon.  

The Department alleges Barkley exploited his position as a law enforcement officer to coerce a female suspect into a sexual relationship. Barkley arranged for the woman to be treated for substance use disorder at a rehabilitation center in Fulton, Kentucky and used his badge to take the woman out of the facility for the day for the purposes of engaging in sex. Barkley is also being investigated by law enforcement in Kentucky.    

“Law enforcement officers that abuse their authority and violate the public’s trust must be held accountable” Nessel said. “The Department of Attorney General is a haven for those who have been exploited or victimized, and I encourage those with similar stories to come forward and report their experiences.” 

Barkley is due back in court via Zoom for a probable cause conference July 8 at 2 p.m. That hearing will be held in Jackson County’s 12th District Court, but the preliminary hearing – which has not been set – will be held in Hillsdale County. 

Employment questions should be directed to the Hillsdale County Sheriff's Office.


Please note:  A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The Department does not provide booking photos.