Fort Wayne City Council votes not to investigate mayor over drunk driving arrest
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH) — There will be no investigation into Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry by the city council.
Republican councilor Jason Arp had been pushing legislation that would have opened an investigation into Henry’s drunk driving arrest last year. Henry was booked into jail and charged with DUI and sentenced to pay a fine after pleading guilty.
The mayor, who is a Democrat, was in his city-issued SUV when the accident happened as he and his wife were heading home from an event earlier that evening.
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“Our job as council members is to make sure that our offices, that the city is not used for personal gain,” said councilor Paul Ensley (R) to his fellow councilors in support of the investigation.
That vote was 6-3 against opening an investigation. The bill had bipartisan support and opposition with Republican councilor Russ Jehl joining some Democratic councilors in voting against it.
Jehl said that it is inappropriate for Arp, who is a candidate for mayor in the city’s upcoming mayoral election, to push for such an investigation in an election year. Democratic councilor Geoff Paddock voted against the measure.
“I thought the bill was egregious. It was unnecessary,” Paddock said after the meeting. “The mayor has made a mistake. He has paid the price physically; I think mentally and certainly financially.”
Meanwhile, one Democrat councilor, Glynn Hines, joined Arp and Ensley in supporting the investigation.
“There were supposedly other accidents the mayor has had we don’t know about, the public doesn’t know about,” Hines said. “If you look at the videotape, there was some verbal abuse to the officers and I’m a little concerned if the officers are intimidated still.”
The vote against the investigation comes as Mayor Henry is set to deliver his State of the City address Wednesday.