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Boone County sheriff responds to allegations of nepotism

Daughter was hired as a deputy
Posted at 11:52 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 00:06:43-04

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen answered Thursday to allegations of nepotism.

Questions arose after the Boone County Merit Board approved the hiring of Sheriff Nielsen's daughter as a deputy.

Sheriff Nielsen considered her for one of the five open positions after getting approval from the county attorney.

The attorney told Nielsen that law enforcement is exempt from the nepotism law because a merit board independently does the hiring and firing.

"The majority of people that know me and know my daughter know that I will not put this community at liable risk and I will do the best to protect the best we can. I have no regrets. The decision I made was the right decision," said Sheriff Nielsen.

Deputy Nielsen does not report to her father.

The system is set up so that there are at least four supervisors between her and the sheriff.

Sheriff Nielsen took to Facebook on Wednesday to address some of the comments on social media. 

"On March 15th, 2017, I emailed the Sheriff’s Office staff about my feelings of nepotism both ethically and in my interpretation legally. I pulled a person out of the Merit process that was related to my Chief Deputy and thought that this was the proper way to move forward both ethically and legally with this process. I notified the Merit Board of the same. This open email to my staff and the transparency that it was intended to be has now made it to social media and is being used against the recent Merit Board hiring of my daughter, former LPD Officer Taylor Nielsen. After recently consulting with the county attorney and my personal attorney, I was informed that my prior perspective was wrong and was assured that, due to the system of checks and balances in place within the department, the hiring of family members into certain positions would not constitute nepotism."

Here is our complete interview with the sheriff:

 

Below is an earlier post from Sheriff Nielsen about the decision to hire his daughter

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