The Herald Bulletin

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Editorials

November 1, 2013

Editorial: Raunchy emails give Ivy Tech black eye

Bruce Walkup, known before as a race car driver, became known recently as the Ivy Tech Community College trustee who resigned amid the revelation that he sent dozens of raunchy emails to top-ranking college officials, as well as Indiana political leaders.

Walkup was the board chairman when he sent emails with off-color political and sexist jokes, including some with nude pictures of women. Recipients included Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder.

And here's perhaps even more disturbing news: the emails continued for six months before college officials asked Walkup to stop sending them.

It's clearly time to get everyone who received an email — and said nothing — into sexual harassment prevention classes. And it should be mandated by Gov. Mike Pence because it includes Ivy Tech officials as well as Department of Natural Resources Director Rob Carter Jr. , who arranged a duck hunting trip with Walkup on public lands without going through a lottery required of other hunts. Walkup, despite lewd messages, got favors.

Walkup made the correct move by stepping down, but Pence must be vigilant in investigating the extent to which such emails are circulating among important leaders. Inspector General David Thomas has been asked to investigate, as the state's top ethics watchdog.

But Pence must send a message that this childish behavior won't be tolerated. Walking away from a bad decision may not be enough in Bruce Walkup's case.

He gave Ivy Tech a black eye.

It seems that many influential leaders let the emails go on too long. They seemed to have developed a good old boys email club, and there's no room for that in state government or elsewhere.

In summary Too many people let Bruce Walkup's lewd emails go on for six months.

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