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Changes at the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department -- Since Martin

BYLINE: Christen Craig

Gallatin County, IL

2011-01-19_INT_Changes at the Gallatin County Sheriff_GALLATIN COUNTY-- Since Raymond Martin's arrest in May of 2009, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department has made some changes-- including new policies meant to restore the public's trust.

Sheriff Shannon Bradley was one of Raymond Martin's Deputies for 12 years, but says he never suspected a scandal was brewing under his nose.

"As a boss he was a great guy to work for," says Bradley.

Although Bradley admits he didn't see Martin on a regular basis.

"I can recall working 72 hours a week and Martin probably didn't work 10 hours a week," he says.

In light of Martin's conviction for selling drugs out of the evidence room, Bradley's being more careful.

"The plan is now anytime the door to the evidence room is open it's myself and a deputy going in," says Bradley.

He says the former Sheriff held the one and only key to the evidence room and drugs often sat on his desk for days at a time.
Now drugs are tagged and put away immediately-- even if it's 2 a.m.

"It's not something you want to do-- get up in the middle of the night and come to work but it is my job," says Bradley.

Also the once unmarked SUV now bears the department's name so the sheriff is accountable for where it's parked.

Although it's been months since Martin was convicted, Bradley says the community is still dealing with the scandal.

Martin was popular and the double life sentence comes as a surprise.

"I wasn't expecting that, it was kind of a shock. But I do feel like because he was a sheriff they'd try to make an example out of him," he says.

We tried to ask dozens of Gallatin County residents what they thought of Martin's sentence-- only one person would talk and this is what she said.

"I think it was a little harsh. He didn't hurt no body," says resident Mary Zoph.

Now that the case is closed, Bradley hopes the community will give him the chance to prove himself.

"Sheriff Martin is no longer here. Let's just forget about it and move on," says Bradley.

Martin's ex-wife Kristina is set to go on trial next week on charges she plotted to kill witnesses in the case. His son Cody is set to go on trial on the same charges in May.

By: Christen Craig

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