FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Wells County Prosecutor Andrew Carnall is under investigation for getting his son out of a suspected drunk driving police stop a few weeks ago.
In a statement to WANE TV, Carnall said he reported himself to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor to review the case.
“A few weeks ago in the early morning hours, I was awakened by a law enforcement officer who had my son pulled over for speeding and suspected drinking and driving,” Carnall wrote in the statement. “After a brief discussion, I made a poor decision to request that I come and get my son.”
The officer at the scene, who has not been identified, allowed Carnall to pick up his son.
“I responded as a father when I should have responded as a prosecutor,” Carnall wrote in his statement.
In his statement, Carnall said later that morning he apologized to the officer and his commanding officer. He ultimately reported himself to the disciplinary commission, which reviews suspected attorney misconduct and hands out punishments when needed.
“Once a person has done something wrong that cannot be undone, the best that person can do is strive to respond appropriately and try to atone,” Carnall wrote. “I have tried, and am still trying, to do that.”
He wrote in the statement he had no further comment due to the disciplinary commission’s investigation.
“I am very to the people of Wells County that I did not live up to the standards that you should expect from a public official,” Carnall wrote.
Wells County Commissioners made it clear to the public during their meeting earlier this week they are united in urging Carnall to resign, according to Republican Michael K. Vanover.
“I don’t think people self report to the supreme court unless something is wrong,” Vanover, who is the current president of the commissioners, told WANE TV. “I don’t see how someone can remain in that seat prosecuting others.”
Vanover sympathized with, to an extent, Carnall’s position. He said he understood Carnall being compelled to help his son, but ultimately he made a poor choice that reflects badly on the local government.
“I think it’s a black eye for the community and I hate it, Vanover said. “It taints us all,”
Still, commissioners do not have the power to force Carnall to resign, Vanover added.
“We have zero authority over his position, and all of us have gotten an inordinate amount of calls from people demanding we do something,” Vanover said. “We finally had to say something. The county as a whole doesn’t stand for this sort of thing.”
According to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys, which is maintained by the Indiana Supreme Court, Carnall’s law license is still in good standing. So far, there is no public record of Carnall being investigated – investigations by the judiciary committee, however, are not usually revealed until completion, supreme court officials said last week.
Carnall was elected to the prosecutor’s office in 2014 and is in the last year of his current term.