FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) -Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux has received a letter from County Council requesting that he reimburse $55,000 to settle a lawsuit related to the apparent battery of a teenager. It is unclear if Gladieux will pay the money back.
The lawsuit stems from an incident that happened 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.
Allen County Council voted 5-2 to pay the family $55,000 to settle the case during a meeting Thursday morning. Council members made it clear that this was a tough decision to make, but it was done in the best interest of tax payers.
If the county would have voted not to pay the settlement the case would have gone to trial and could have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The council also agreed to ask Gladieux to pay the county back.
A letter from County Council President Joel Benz says in part, “common sense would dictate that it was solely your character on trial. We believe any funds paid by the county for this settlement should be reimbursed by you personally.”
However, Benz said Gladieux is not required to reimburse the money for the settlement and he has not responded to the request.
The county has spent roughly $50,000 dollars on Gladieux’s lawyer fees so far, according to Benz. That means, to date, the county will pay an upwards of $100,000 dollars on the lawsuit.
WANE 15 asked Benz if there would be any organized effort by county members to request the sheriff’s resignation if he refuses to pay for the settlement. Benz says no comment.
The County Commissioners still have to vote to approve the settlement. Benz said it is likely they will vote in favor of it.
As of Friday afternoon, a phone call to Gladieux has not been returned.