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Lawsuits & Litigation

Allen County Council Agrees to Pay $55K Settlement Over Sheriff’s Lawsuit

— September 21, 2020

Allen County recently announced it will settle a lawsuit filed against the sheriff, David Gladieux, for $55,000.

Allen County Council recently agreed to settle a lawsuit against David Gladieux, the Allen County Sheriff. The suit accused Gladieux of a battery of a 15-year-old boy. The announcement came four weeks after the family of the boy agreed to the settlement. The Allen County Council recently voted to approve the settlement and will pay the family $55,000 using taxpayer dollars. It’s important to note that the lawsuit originally sought $300,000 in damages to help cover medical costs, emotional distress, and other damages.

Lady Justice; image by Tingey Injury Law Firm, via
Lady Justice; image by Tingey Injury Law Firm, via

The recent agreement is important because if the council did not approve the settlement, the case would have proceeded to trial and may have cost taxpayers a lot more money. As part of the agreement, the council also plans to ask Gladieux to pay the money back to the county. According to Joel Benz, the Council President, the council drafted the following letter to send to the sheriff:

Sheriff Gladiux, Today Allen County acted on your behalf, choosing to pay a settlement for your actions. Despite the county legally being brought into the lawsuit during the incident, common sense would dictate that it was solely your character on trial. As such, we believe any funds paid by the county for this settlement should be reimbursed by you personally and not borne by the citizens of Allen County. We would request that you meet with the council to work out the terms of the repayment in the next two weeks. Thank you. -Joel Benz President Allen County Council

Shortly after the council’s vote, Benz also provided the following statement:

Today the County Council acted on a settlement stemming from the Sheriff’s actions during the Three Rivers Festival last year. As Councilman Kerly stated during the discussion the County and our taxpayers stood to lose, lose, and lose from this. As presented by the legal team, the County was unfortunately drawn into this lawsuit because the Sheriff was sued in his official capacity. Fiscally speaking, to win the case based on recent similar cases would be approximated at $258,000. Losing at trial would cost over $500,000 just for legal fees and not including an additional awarded settlement. Therefore, a settlement of $55,000 suggested by the judge in the case was clearly the financially prudent thing to do. Morally speaking however, asking citizens of Allen County fund the settlement, was in the view of myself and the entire council as discussed at length during our meeting…repugnant.

What happened, though? Why was the suit filed in the first place? The incident that prompted the suit happened back in July 2019 when “Gladieux had an altercation with a 15-year-old volunteer at the Three Rivers Festival,” according to the suit. At the time, Gladieux was in a “private area when the boy asked to see his VIP badge.” In response, Gladieux told the boy, “I am the ******* sheriff, move out of the way.” He then allegedly shoved the child.


Council begrudgingly votes to pay settlement in Allen County sheriff lawsuit

Allen County Council votes 5-2 to use taxpayer money to settle sheriff’s lawsuit

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