Statement on Jeff Hern Charges

Here’s the full press release of my statement on the filing of misdemeanor theft charges against my opponent Jeff Hern:

On Thursday October 27, Jeff Hern was formally charged with a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief for the theft of my campaign signs. After reviewing the evidence, including cell phone tower records, Special Prosecutor Brent Eaton filed the charge accusing Hern of stealing multiple campaign signs in April during the Hamilton County Republican primary race.

I am grateful that the special prosecutor has recognized the serious issues at stake here: this was not a simple prank or childish behavior. An elected official’s behavior during the campaign tells us a lot about his behavior in office. If Jeff Hern stole campaign signs when he thought no one was looking, what would he do overseeing finances for our entire county?

Hern’s response to the incident has been very troublesome. After initially failing to comment, he has been denying his guilt despite the evidence.

In my over 20 years of public service, I have disagreed strongly and debated vigorously with various opponents. We’ve had serious differences, but we’ve always respected each other and upheld a sense of fairness, not to mention the law. This situation is different, and I am saddened that it has come this far.

In April when the signs were stolen, I called on all public officials to reject these tactics and the candidates who used them, yet no one has done so. These charges are a cloud hanging over the Hamilton County GOP.

To clear the air, I call on Jeff Hern to resign the day after the election, and I hope the rest of the County GOP will agree. The principles of honesty and fair play are too important to be disrespected. The citizens of Hamilton County deserve much better from their elected officials.

State of Indiana Case # 29D06-1610-CM-008166