ANDERSON – Republican Rick Gardner said there is no room for politics in Anderson’s public safety agency.
Gardner is running for the office of mayor against incumbent Democrat Thomas Broderick Jr. and Libertarian Rob Jozwiak.
He called for the demotion of Anderson Police Chief Tony Watters over an alleged verbal confrontation with Indiana State Police investigators during an incident involving the chief's son, APD Officer Adam Watters.
Gardner also was critical of how Broderick has handled the arrest of Adam Watters.
In a press release issued Friday, Gardner also raised concerns about nepotism in city government over Broderick’s son, Evan, continuing to work for the city.
If he is elected mayor on Nov. 5, Gardner said he would open the positions of police chief and fire chief to anyone within the two departments and also accept applications from candidates not currently working for the city.
“The political back and forth in public safety can’t continue,” Gardner said. “We can’t have politics in how you manage police work.”
There is a long standing history that the mayor of Anderson appoints the police and fire chiefs from within the ranks of their respective political party.
“There has to be transparency and the highest integrity in public safety,” Gardner said. “I will not make a choice based on politics. We need people with a clean record.”
The Herald Bulletin will update this story.