FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — City Council members have slowly been giving their reaction to the footage of Mayor Henry’s arrest.
On Monday, Russ Jehl shared his thoughts with WANE 15.
“My reaction was you hear the officer walk away, confer with themselves, talk about being intimidated, talk about needing to find a new job,” Jehl said. “I really think the Mayor should apologize to them.”
The Mayor’s Office sent an email to WANE 15 Monday that reads, “It’s our understanding that the Mayor hopes to meet with the officers in the near future.”
In addition to pleading with the officer’s cause, Jehl would like a third party to inspect the footage and render a decision to avoid “embarrassing” the mayor.
“We can indeed do what is right by making sure our officers are not intimidated and make sure that there are no ethical violations that occurred,” Jehl said. “At the same time, not exploiting it for political purposes and further embarrassing the mayor, which would be very inappropriate as well.”
He said it’s a fine line to walk for city council, which is responsible for keeping the mayor and his office in check.
As the acting legislative branch of Fort Wayne’s government, council keeps a power check on the mayor’s office which acts as the executive branch.
“If there is something inappropriate the Mayor does with his subordinates, in this case, the police officers, the only branch that sticks up for the police officers is the legislative branch,” Jehl said. “That’s why council should not turn a blind eye to this.”
Ultimately, Jehl looked to the precedent set in Wells County. After the county prosecutor’s son received a DUI, a third party was brought in to help render a decision.
Jehl said it was an amicable outcome, and he would like a similar strategy employed in this case.
“Get an expert and have them give council a recommendation,” Jehl said.
Jehl said he would like to discuss the matter at Tuesday’s city council meeting, but he has no control over the agenda.
He says he expects the discussion to continue into next year.
This story was corrected to indicate it was the prosecutor’s son who received a DUI.