Almost two months into his term as Perry Township Trustee, Eric Tippmann still has not moved back to his home in the township. Allen County Democrats believe that makes him ineligible for the position.
When Tippmann was running for Perry Township Trustee, he moved out of the district, but did not sell the house he moved from, instead he rented it out. His opponent in that race, Democrat Melissa Rinehart, filed a complaint against him to the Allen County Election Board. The board voted in Tippmann’s favor, and he went on to win the election. The election board said as long as Tippmann had “intent” to move back to the township, he remained eligible for the Trustee position.
It’s the middle of February and Tippmann still has not moved back to Perry Township, prompting Allen County Democrats Chairwoman Misti Meehan to release a statement.
“The process clearly did not work,” said Meehan in her statement. “Eric Tippmann had indicated he would be returning to the Perry Township address in January. We are now almost half way through February and Tippmann has still not returned to the township he purports to represent.”
Tippmann originally planned to return to Perry Township in January, but the person he is renting his house to has still not moved out.
“He closed on his property back in December,and they are having serious problems with builders and expectations on what they want to do,” Tippmann said of the tenant renting his house. “He’s operated on many people in my family. I feel bad throwing him and his family out right now. So I’m going to give him a little bit more time.”
Tippmann said he and his family left some of their furniture in the basement of the house he is renting out because they plan to move back.
Tippmann is weeks into his term as trustee and has filed to run for another office. He is now running for City Council At-Large, should he win, it would be his third different public office in three years.
“I’m a scientist,” said Tippmann, who is also an assistant professor of chemistry at Purdue Fort Wayne . “I like to solve problems. At the end of the year, I like to hold out accomplishments and say ‘I accomplished x, y and z. I like solving problems. There are a lot of problems in the city, a lot more than in the township. It’s going to take me about six months to solve every problem in this township. Hopefully, I can move on to the next thing.”
That being said, he did state that he intends to serve four or eight years on City Council and would not leave midway through a term to seek another office.