ELWOOD — A conversation during a City Council meeting on Monday night revealed that Mayor Ron Arnold is under investigation by state police.
The scope of the investigation and the reason for it have not been revealed. But people who were in attendance, when contacted later by The Herald Bulletin, said that Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna confirmed the Indiana State Police are conducting an investigation of Arnold.
According to Councilman Todd Jones, a citizen at the meeting asked the council members whether they were aware of an investigation of Arnold by ISP. The council members directed their attention to Hanna, who said he couldn't elaborate on any investigation.
According to Jones, Hanna confirmed there was some kind of investigation underway.
On Tuesday, Hanna denied having said that.
"I said, 'I'm not aware of anything, and even if I was aware, I wouldn't be able to talk about it because it's an ongoing investigation," Hanna said.
But Clerk-Treasurer Ali Atwood, who takes the official minutes of the meetings and is in charge of making transcripts, said she took down Hanna's exact quote.
"A citizen asked the council if they're aware of an active investigation into Mayor Arnold, and when they asked Chief Hanna, he said, 'The state police are conducting an active investigation, but since it's active, I cannot comment on it,'" Atwood said.
Regardless, Jones said that was the first that council members had heard of any investigation, and he and the other council members are concerned about the possibility.
"We in the council demand complete transparency from these offices, and once we know more, we'll be sure to inform the public," Jones said.
Arnold left for Japan on an economic development trip on Sept. 2. The trip was planned ahead of Gov. Mike Pence's Japan trade mission, and Arnold was set to meet with top executives of Sakamoto Industries, which is the parent of Elsa Corp., an automotive component supplier based in Elwood since 1987.
On Tuesday, Elwood public information officer Jeff Howe confirmed Hanna's side of the story and said he's also unaware of any investigation of Arnold.
"There are a lot of rumors going around town, but that’s all they are," Hanna said.
No representative of ISP with knowledge of the situation could be reached on Tuesday.
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