Allen County sheriff pledges to repay $55,000 lawsuit settlement

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux issued a statement Wednesday afternoon indicating he will repay the county’s general fund the $55,000 lawsuit settlement that was reached.

Last week, County Council voted 5-2 to pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit about Gladieux filed by the family of a 15-year-old boy pushed at the Three Rivers Festival in 2019. The body felt the settlement amount paled in comparison to the amount the county would be on the hook for if the case went to trial.

After the vote, the council sent a letter to Gladieux, requesting he pay the county back.

Gladieux issued the following statement Wednesday:

I am among the privileged whom wake up every day to serve our fellow citizens by promoting their safety and security. 

I have spent my entire adult life, since my graduation from high school, as a law enforcement officer.  I worked 14 years as a Road Patrol Officer, almost all of them as K9 dog handler.  I served on our Swat Team, and as a Major Crimes investigator. 

Throughout my career I actively pursued every opportunity to learn, grow and develop as a person, an officer and a leader.  My attendance and graduation from the FBI’s National Academy, joining the ranks of less than one percent of law enforcement personnel, was personal validation of my efforts and focus. 

But, the honor of my life occurred in December 2014 when I became Sheriff of Allen County.  My selection by Allen County citizens to serve as their Sheriff has been both humbling and inspiring. 

Consequently, the unnecessary and preventable incident with the young man last summer has been the most instructive and leveling experience of my career.  I apologize again to him, his family, the men and women of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department and the citizens of Allen County.  I understand that regardless of the facts, as the Sheriff I bear responsibility that such incident occurred. 

Thus, I understand and agree with the frustration and disappointment expressed by County Council and willingly agree to reimburse the Allen County General Fund the full $55,000 settlement sum paid to settle the lawsuit arising from the incident. 

I will wake up every day of my remaining term of office with the same commitment, energy and passion to protect and serve, but also to continue to learn, grow and develop as a person, officer and leader. 

We need, as a community, to put this incident to rest.  I accepted responsibility in both legal matters and with re-payment of the settlement, seek to have us – all of us – focus on the critical work of the Sheriff’s Department and our community for a safer, more inclusive and prosperous Allen County.

Sheriff David Gladieux

BACKGROUND

Back in July 2019, Gladieux had an altercation with a 15-year-old volunteer at the Three Rivers Festival, according to court records. Gladieux was in a private area when the boy asked to see his VIP badge. The sheriff told the boy “I am the ******* sheriff, move out of the way,” and shoved him, records show.

Afterward, Gladieux reached a pretrial agreement and was enrolled in the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office Pretrial Diversion Program. With the agreement, Gladieux was required to pay a $334 fee, complete alcohol and anger management programs, and make a public apology.

According to documents obtained by WANE 15, Gladieux completed 12 hours of a risk management program for alcohol use as recommended. He also completed all requirements of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, as well as 10 hours of Conflict Resolution for Recovery and Relapse Prevention.

With the completion of the programs, the battery charge will be dismissed as long as the sheriff does not get arrested between now and Oct. 18.

Gladieux is currently in his second term as sheriff of Allen County. His term will officially end on Jan. 1, 2023.

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