FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — Sheriff David Gladieux has released a statement regarding the lawsuit settlement stemming from an incident involving a teenage volunteer at the Three Rivers Festival in 2019.
In a statement sent to media Wednesday afternoon, Gladieux said he will reimburse the $55,000 from the Allen County General Fund used to pay the settlement.
The Allen County Council voted last week 5-2 to pay the $55,000 settlement using taxpayer funds, as Gladieux was being sued in his official capacity as a sheriff.
The two dissenting votes came from Councilmen Tom Harris and Robert Armstrong.
Gladieux has previously denied any wrongdoing in the incident involving the volunteer, and has now issued an apology to the family.
"Consequently, the unnecessary and preventable incident with the young man last summer has been the most instructive and leveling experience of my career. I apologize again to him, his family, the men and women of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department and the citizens of Allen County. I understand that regardless of the facts, as the Sheriff I bear responsibility that such incident occurred," the statement reads.
Read the statement in full below:
The legal action followed an incident at the 2019 Three Rivers Festival Parade in which the plaintiffs claim Gladieux was belligerent and shoved a teenage volunteer to the ground, causing injuries that were treated at a hospital.
In papers filed at federal court, the Bullerman family -- on behalf of their minor child -- and Gladieux indicated they agreed to take part in a settlement conference.
The family sued for $300,000 in compensation for physical pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and what they call unlawful and excessive force.
That dollar amount is the maximum amount allowed by the Indiana Tort Claims Act.