Editor, Times-Union:

Would it surprise you to learn that our county sheriff makes more money than the governor of Indiana? Or the attorney general, the state’s top law enforcement official? It should surprise you, because most sheriffs throughout Indiana don’t, and sheriffs in our county didn’t use to – until Kyle Dukes. Upon taking office, Kyle Dukes immediately took advantage of a loophole in state law allowing him to take the proceeds of tax warrant money and make an additional $35,000 per year more than the previous sheriff, instantly making himself one of the highest-paid sheriffs in Indiana.

The County Commissioners didn’t have a choice in the matter. The County Council didn’t have a choice in the matter. Every other sheriff we’ve had negotiated in good faith with our council members to set a reasonable salary. No other sheriff decided to buck the council and use the loophole to grab tax warrant money for himself. But Kyle Dukes took the path of easy money. So he got a free $35,000 per year raise, while the deputies working beneath him saw no such bonus. Acts like this are the reason that Senator Ryan Mishler and others in Indianapolis are working to close the loophole.

Jim Smith is running for sheriff this year, and there are a lot of reasons to vote for him. He’s got substantial law enforcement and military experience, he’s got a common sense, community-oriented approach to policing, and he’s going to take back control of the county jail. And even though the salary loophole still exists, he’s not going to take advantage of it. He’s promising to negotiate with the council and take a salary that is in line with the statewide average.

Vote Jim Smith on May 3rd.

Jim and Jorie Webster

Winona Lake, via email