ANDERSON — Tony Watters’ time as Anderson police chief will end Sunday night, Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said Tuesday.
Broderick’s decision Tuesday comes just one day after the mayor was provided with a supplemental police report from the Indiana State Police by Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings.
Watters was named chief of police after Broderick took office Jan. 1, 2016.
Broderick said he has not named an interim chief.
The fate of Watters to continue as police chief has been an issue in the mayoral campaign since July as Broderick awaited a copy of the report from ISP.
Rick Gardner, the Republican Party candidate for mayor, said the action should have been taken months ago.
“It was a long time coming,” he said when informed of Broderick’s decision.
Broderick said the issue could have been resolved in July if the report had been provided to him by Cummings.
“This matter would have been resolved long ago if only the prosecutor would have released the report to me in a timely fashion,” Broderick said in a press release. “I do not understand the playing of politics in such an important matter.
“I wanted to make a timely decision, but it needed to be based on facts, not hearsay,” he said. “I wanted the full story to be able to act in a fair and deliberate manner. Now that I have received the report, I am able to attend to the concerns raised, as well as the distractions surrounding the entire incident.”
Since 2016, Watters has faced multiple problems involving his son, Adam, a member of the police department.
That included the changing of the awarding of seniority in the department; Adam Watters stopped by ISP for speeding in which there was no disciplinary action; and Adam Watters was suspended for one day without pay after taking an underage relative to a Pendleton bar.
“I appreciate the service of Chief Watters and commend him on all of the accomplishments that have occurred during his tenure as Chief,” Broderick said in the press release.
“Nonetheless, in light of the information that I have now been able to fully and fairly review and in order that we are able to move forward, I have notified the Chief that effective the end of Sunday, October 13, 2019 his tenure as chief will end.”
Watters has been embattled since his son’s arrest on several criminal charges related to an alleged domestic violence incident in July.
Broderick requested a copy of the Indiana State Police report on an incident at the chief’s house with ISP officers in which he allegedly had a verbal confrontation with the officers.
That report was delivered to the mayor on Monday by Cummings, who initially provided the report to Rebecca Crumes, president of the Anderson City Council on Friday.
The report contained details of the interaction between the chief and members of the Indiana State Police, the press release said.
Broderick requested a copy of the supplemental police report in July following a meeting with Cummings and two ISP supervisors.
Initially, the prosecutor and the state police indicated a willingness to release the report to the mayor, Broderick said. Later, he was advised that Cummings said the report was not going to be released to him.
It was not released to the mayor until after he made an additional request to the prosecutor for the report, after he was advised that the prosecutor was releasing copies to others, the press release stated.