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Audit: Ex-sheriff on hook for missing guns, ammo

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Posted at 2:07 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 17:13:21-05

PULASKI COUNTY, Ind. -- An audit just released by the State Board of Accounts is demanding a former Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer repay $20,632 in missing firearms and ammunition purchased with taxpayer money.

Gayer is also ordered to pay $6,005 in additional audit costs racked up by state auditors.

Indiana State Police said Friday a criminal investigation is underway into Gayer and his former chief deputy, Ron Patrick.

“We are not investigating the current sheriff or any other past sheriffs in Pulaski County,” said Sgt. Ann Wojas, Public Information Officer with Indiana State Police Lowell Post. “I am not at liberty to go into the investigation as it is an active investigation.”

Public funds may not be used to pay for personal items, according to the audit.

Former Sheriff Michael Gayer told Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney Friday he left office Dec. 31, 2014 and knows nothing about the weapons being purchased by his department.

“I know nothing about it,” Gayer told Call 6 Investigates. “I am just as surprised as anyone.”

Gayer said he has no plans to repay the $26,637 demanded by the State Board of Accounts.

“That’s common practice for the head of the department to be held accountable for something like that, but I did not take those guns or the ammunition,” said Gayer. “I know nothing about them missing.”

Bryan Cook, attorney for Gayer, told Call 6 Investigates Gayer is a former ISP state trooper who has served his county for 30 years.

“The SBOA and ISP are on a witch hunt and have unfairly targeted and essentially smeared Mike’s name in his community,” Cook said. 

“He won’t be a punching bag for the investigators, and this former, career law enforcement officer will get a ferocious defense if this matter goes criminal. We intend to bring a SLEDGEHAMMER to any case brought against Mr. Gayer.”

A special prosecutor has been appointed to review the audit.

“I agree with the audit,” said current Pulaski Sheriff Sheriff Jeffrey Richwine “This was all stuff that we found when I took office, so I agree with the report.”

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