ANDERSON, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The special prosecutor looking into the Sheriff Gladieux investigation talked with us in his first television interview about the case.
We drove to Anderson, Indiana outside of Indianapolis where the Madison County prosecutor said, “Nobody’s above the law.”
“It’s not a thing anyone wants to do, but someone needs to do it,” Rodney Cummings says.
In his career, Madison County Prosecutor Cummings has prosecuted a mayor, a county recorder, and numerous police officers.
And now a judge has appointed him as the special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Sheriff Gladieux’s alleged involvement in an altercation at the Three Rivers Festival.
Cummings says his previous career as a homicide detective gives him a unique perspective.
“I think that background probably means that I hold police officers to a higher standard. I have higher expectations of behaviors of people in this career. Not lower expectations, higher expectations,” he says.
He says he’s previously worked well with the state police detective out of the Pendleton post assigned to investigate the case, and says it will help that they’re both from out of town.
“I don’t know this sheriff, don’t know the Fort Wayne police officers that were there that night, so it probably helps in a lot of ways,” he says.
Cummings says he won’t be involved in the case until the detective’s investigation is complete, which he anticipates will take a few weeks because the officer is out of town this week for a previously arranged investigation.
“It’s important to take as much time as necessary to be sure you’re making the right decision. I think when it’s a public official the scrutiny is even greater, there’s more attention drawn to it. So I think everybody involved wants to make sure we have all the information we need to have before a decision is made, and we do everything we can to collect as much information as possible,” he says.
He says while all investigations are significant, he acknowledges one involving a police officer carries added weight.
“Law enforcement officers involved understand the damage that something like this can cause to a reputation, so it’s important that we make every effort we can to make sure we’re doing the correct thing whether we decide to file charges or not,” Cummings says.
However, he insists no one is above the law.
“The evidence will carry the day. And there won’t be any special consideration. The case will be treated as with any other defendant. But I do think that those of us in law enforcement understand that particularly to a public official that a lot’s on the line,” he says.
Cummings anticipates he will make a decision about whether charges against Sheriff Gladieux are warranted a few days after he receives the detective’s report.
He says as part of the investigation he wants to come to Fort Wayne to see the area of Headwaters Park where the incident allegedly occurred to better understand what happened.