BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind (Feb. 9, 2015)–The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s brother is a convicted sex offender and he’s been a volunteer with the department.
Sheriff Matt Myers assumed his role as the top cop in the county at the beginning of the year. In a statement, Sheriff Myers credits his family for their support during his campaign.
However, some Bartholomew County residents question the involvement of the sheriff’s brother, James Andrew (Andy) Myers. Andy Myers is a convicted sex offender and police impersonator, according to court documents.
“I really don’t think that’s right for our county. I think a lot of people would agree with me on that,”said Haley Challies, a Bartholomew County resident.
A recent picture posted online by the sheriff shows a meeting where his brother is wearing a shirt with the county emblem printed on the front.
Myers contends that the meeting was regarding a volunteer ceremonial horse patrol for the department.
“This guy gets to help the police out and he’s a criminal. It’s a big abuse of power just because his brother is the sheriff,” said Bradley Sims, a Bartholomew County resident.
Andy Myers has only served as a volunteer and not an official department employee, according to a statement written by the sheriff.
“Twenty years ago, my brother was involved in an incident that resulted in his becoming a convicted felon. He was a volunteer during my campaign for Sheriff and my transition into this Office. He is not, and never was, an employee of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office. Similar to the many other volunteers involved in my campaign, he does not have an ongoing role with the Sheriff’s Office nor was such a role ever anticipated or intended.
I also want to address the photograph of my wife and our 12-year old son. First and foremost, neither my wife nor child are employees of the Sheriff’s Office. My family has always been supportive and involved in my political campaign and in my transition to the office of Sheriff. Not only do they want me to succeed, they have a strong desire for this department to succeed as well. They were in a meeting to discuss a proposed home-school project which involved organizing a volunteer ceremonial horse patrol for the Sheriff’s Office.
I am very proud of your work and I hear good comments from the public so please don’t let this interfere with the fine job you are doing. In the few weeks that I have been here, I am very impressed with your work and this issue will not slow us down.”
“I think if the sheriff is being forthright about it that’s the best place to start. Too often in other cases people try and hide things and they get worse than it ever could have been,” said Barbara Smitherman,a Bartholomew County resident.
“I wouldn’t want him in any law enforcement position, even if it’s not an ‘official’ position– so I have concerns about that,” said Jonie Hurt, a Bartholomew County resident.
The sheriff’s brother falsely identified himself as an officer in 1995 to a male in Bloomington, Ind. He instructed the victim to get in his car, and drove to a wooded area say court records.
Andy Myers then proceeded to strike the victim with a flashlight and grab him inappropriately, according to court documents.
Internet sex offender registries show James Andrew Myers as a registered sex offender in the state of Texas, however, his name does not appear in Indiana’s state database.
“I’m kind of a believer in giving people a second chance as long as he’s not performing any law enforcement duties with the public,” said Smitherman.