Candidate for Vanderburgh County Sheriff Jim Tucker re-affirms his campaign despite questions and allegations into his disciplinary records. Tucker said he met with his campaign staff on Tuesday to discuss the campaign's future. He says he prematurely expressed some reservations about continuing the campaign in light of the increased scrutiny on he and his family. After a show of support, he rescinded those reservations. He told Eyewitness News, 'I'm in it to win it.'
He also confirmed that he did indeed resign back in 2011 amid the internal investigation into a ring a male patron found at a hotel where Tucker was working off-duty. He says the resignation was in an effort to preserve his pension and retirement benefits because had he gone before the Merit Board, he would have run the risk of losing those benefits.
State law specifies the sheriff appoints three of the five members on the Merit Board. Because of this, Tucker says, he knew he wouldn't survive a merit board hearing. Furthermore, Tucker says changing the structure of the board is one of his campaign platforms. Tucker says he would like to have only two members be appointed by the sheriff. Two more board members would be voted on by the department and the last board member would be provided by the Fraternal Order of Police, according to Tucker.
Tucker also confirms he was suspended 30 days back in 2011 amid allegations of lying to supervisors about the completion of accident reports. Tucker adamantly denies lying to his superiors. Tucker says he agreed to the suspension to avoid being fired. Tucker again pointed to the sheriff having three appointees on the Merit Board.
Furthermore, Tucker says his campaign will make his personnel file available to all of those who wish to see it. The Tucker campaign released the following statement on Tuesday.
"Recent questions have risen in regards to Jim's record as a deputy sheriff. We
have requested, paid for, and received all 666 pages of Jim Tucker's personnel
file from the Sheriff, Eric Williams. We are making the entire file available
to any news outlet that wishes to view it. We are in the process of digitizing
the file so it can be viewed easier by anyone on our website, but for for now
the paper files are available for you to view if you wish.
We are not withholding any information in regards to Jim's past. We hope our opponents do the same with their personnel file as well."