Council candidate Jim Rice: Sullivan should be placed on administrative leave

EDITOR’S NOTE: This press release was issued by District 2 LaPorte County Council candidate Jim Rice (R):

County Council candidate Jim Rice has called on Councilman John Sullivan to be placed on administrative leave while his prosecution for a Level 6 felony proceeds. Rice explained, “It has been

Rice

nearly two months since John Sullivan was arrested and charged and yet there has been virtual silence, with no action taken by the County Council regarding his status. On Aug. 3, Sullivan was charged with entering a Wanatah woman’s home without permission while she was away. Further investigation has revealed that this was not the first time Sullivan has allegedly entered someone’s house without permission. Importantly, he freely admitted to police that he has a history of such behavior. The charges, along with direct personal testimonies provided in the local media involving invasion of privacy and other predatory behavior from at least 3 additional alleged victims who have come forward, are serious and disturbing.

“As a retired school superintendent for River Forest Community Schools, I know full well that when substantial and credible evidence is received that an employee is involved in or accused of inappropriate behavior or violating the law, that individual is immediately placed on administrative leave while the investigation and/or prosecution moves forward. This is done in order to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff. Indeed, the Tri-Township School Corporation has rightly stopped utilizing Sullivan as a bus driver while the prosecution runs its course. As Sullivan is serving in a position of public trust, he should similarly step back from his position on the County Council. This is especially critical considering the reports from a number of county employees of invasive and inappropriate behavior. The county has a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to take action to protect its employees from a hostile work environment, as well as to protect its citizens from the costs of potential legal liability. In addition, county government should use its power and authority to order an independent investigation of John Sullivan.

“The police investigation of Sullivan, and his subsequent arrest, have been ignored by his fellow council members. (In fact, one member, shockingly, rushed to his defense.) No other statement or official position has been taken by any member of the council as to his status on the council.  This causes great concern and is deeply troubling,” Rice said. “Sullivan’s integrity and credibility in serving the citizens of LaPorte County has been placed in grave doubt, and for him to remain actively seated on the council, while the prosecution continues, is unacceptable. Will other possible victims be afraid to come forward if they view the County Council, through its silence, as being fearful of or giving aid and comfort to one of their own?

If Sullivan won’t agree to place himself on administrative leave, then the County Council must stand up, take action on its own and demand, by formal resolution, that he do so for the good of the people. This should not be a difficult decision for the council to make. The citizens of LaPorte County deserve responsible and decisive representation from their elected officials. Now is not the time to remain passive but to demonstrate leadership and be a strong voice for the people, the public interest and public safety.

Jim Rice, candidate for County Council, District 2

8 Responses to “Council candidate Jim Rice: Sullivan should be placed on administrative leave”

  1. Kasey Masepohl

    Sep 30. 2018

    Typical bipartisan comment. It would make a big difference if anyone besides a Republican has anything bad to say regarding Mr. Sullivan. I have yet to hear…

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    • Del

      Oct 02. 2018

      Kasey, I agree with what you meant. It is very partisan on this candidate’s part. This is what’s wrong in both parties on a national scale and unfortunately quickly getting there on a local level. I don’t belong to John’s party but believe that his intentions are always in the best interest of the community.

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  2. Dick

    Oct 01. 2018

    Kasey, you should look up the definition of bipartisan, then make a comment. Better to keep quiet and be thought a fool, than…………

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  3. bob

    Oct 01. 2018

    I trust John , not you

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  4. Kasey Masepohl

    Oct 01. 2018

    Thought I used it wrong but oh well. Lol you get the gist of what I meant. It’s hard trying to sound intelligent

    Reply to this comment
  5. Vee

    Oct 01. 2018

    Mr. Rice, let me remind you that Mr. Sullivan is innocent until proven guilty. You’ve presented biased information about this case that goes beyond substantiating your opinion that the County Council should place Mr. Sullivan on administrative leave while awaiting results of his trial, or as you put it, “while his prosecution for a Level 6 felony proceeds”.The County Council does not have the authority to place him on administrative leave.Your past experience as a former school superintendent does not make you a political authority. “In addition, county government should use its power and authority to order an independent investigation of John Sullivan”, you stated. Power? Order an investigation? You’re a bully. Being a county councilman isn’t about weilding power. It’s about working well with others to serve the citizens of the county.

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  6. Tjr

    Oct 02. 2018

    Well said Jim we need more people like you in politics. It should never matter what position you have the law is the law.

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  7. Cary

    Oct 02. 2018

    Jim, you were not at the August meeting but I brought it up about the Co. Clerk finding a judge to hear this case as soon as possible before it is swept under the rug and forgotten about as a number of other things in this county have.

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