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September 20, 2013

Clark County sheriff candidate suspends campaign

Donor accuses Chuck Adams of offering him no-show job in exchange for more money, which Adams denies

JEFFERSONVILLE — Larry Brooks dreamed of having a police car and a badge. He dreamed of being able to do police work on the weekends, speeding without getting pulled over and parking on the sidewalk at the mall.

That’s why the millionaire owner of local trucking and fleet maintenance companies says he was donating to the campaign of Chuck Adams, a Clark County sheriff’s major who announced Friday he was suspending his 2014 campaign for sheriff after the News and Tribune contacted him about Brooks’ allegations.

Brooks said Adams offered him a lot more than what he had hoped for in return for campaign contributions.

A no-show, $70,000-per-year job as Adams’ chief deputy if he won was what Adams offered him, Brooks alleges. Adams just asked that Brooks open his wallet and give him more — up to $60,000 more. What Adams didn’t know is that Brooks didn’t trust him, and decided to turn on the recorder on his cell phone during the face-to-face, Feb. 14, 2012, conversation.

“I had bad vibes about it,” Brooks said. “I talked around the county, and he was [going to be] the winner. I don’t think he is anymore, but he was the winner.”

Adams issued a written statement to the News and Tribune in response to Brooks’ allegations, accepting responsibility for failure to follow Indiana campaign finance rules, but stating that while he did have conversations with Brooks about the possibility of employment in an Adams-run sheriff’s department, he never offered Brooks ghost employment.

“I am not a politician,” Adams wrote. “I am a career police officer with more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement. I admit I made mistakes. I regret my mistakes, and am sorry.”

In addition to his responses to Brooks’ claims and his apology, Adams announced via the statement that he is suspending his campaign.

“I want to thank my family, friends, and co-workers for their support of me and my candidacy,”  Adams wrote.

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