Allen County Sheriff seeks officer’s termination for alleged harassment, other offenses
A 25-year veteran of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department faces dismissal after allegedly harassing a woman who had dated one of his relatives.
Sheriff David Gladieux is seeking the termination of Officer Johnny Gerardot, who according to Gladieux “has a history of disciplinary action . . . for unbecoming conduct, insubordination and incompetence,” culminating in a harassment report filed on March 29 by Mackenzie Thorpe, an intern at the Allen County Court Library.
According to a statement by Gladieux, which will be considered by the Sheriff’s Merit Board this week, Thorpe was “receiving harassing contacts from Officer Gerardot and other family members following the end of their relationship . . . threatening legal action and that Officer Gerardot attempted to intimidate her by entering the law library while she was at work and later visited her other place of employment.” Thorpe’s mother, Allison, also contacted Gerardot about the alleged harassment, according to Gladieux.
During the subsequent departmental investigation, Gladiuex wrote, Gerardot “at times expressly denied speaking to Allison Thorpe and later stated he did not remember talking” to her. His statements to Internal Affairs, Gladieux noted, “directly conflict with telephone records . . . and constitute dishonest responses to direct question relating to the investigation. Officer Garardot subsequently completed a polygraph examination which indicated deception in his statements regarding his contact with Allison Thorpe.”
Gerardot took an unrelated leave from the department last year from March 30 to Oct. 30, and on Dec. 28 was notified in writing of discipline for unbecoming conduct and insubordination. He was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the Merit Board hearing.
Department spokesman Steve Stone said Gerardot could choose to retire or, if terminated, could appeal the board’s decision in Allen Circuit Court.
This is not the first time Gerardot’s conduct has received the department’s attention. According to Gladieux, he was disciplined by then-Sheriff Jim Herman in 2001 for his conduct of an interview on a child molestation case and for failing to respond to calls in a timely manner, receiving a two-day suspension. In 2009, Gerardot was disciplined by Sheriff Ken Fries for improperly serving court documents by mail while failing to make any attempt to serve the documents in person, falsifying court documents and grossly exceeding the speed limit in non-emergency situations and for “failure to take responsibility for his own actions.” He was then suspended for 10 days.
And, in 2014, Fries disciplined Gerardot for violating rules of conduct covering operation of a vehicle and being involved in an accident. He was suspended for one day.