The Hamilton County Council at-large Republican primary race is getting ugly.
Fall Creek Township Trustee Jeff Hern, who is running for an at-large council seat, has been accused of stealing incumbent Rick McKinney’s campaign signs throughout Fishers—although no charges have been filed.
McKinney contacted the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office on Friday to report three missing banners located at 116th Street and Olio Road, 116th Street and Cumberland Road and 135th Street and State Road 37.
Hern’s cell phone was found near the 116th Street and Cumberland Road location, and Hern confirmed to investigators that his cell phone was missing.
According to a statement from the sheriff's department, Hern is "listed as a suspect in the case" but no formal charges have been filed against him. The case has been referred to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
The signs were worth $1,000, according to McKinney.
“In all my years in politics, I have never witnessed such behavior,” McKinney said in a written statement. “This type of dirty trick is unacceptable and a criminal charge in the state of Indiana. I hope whoever is found responsible for these thefts will apologize and make restitution.”
Hern and McKinney are running for three at-large council seats, along with incumbent Brad Beaver, retiring Fishers Police Chief George Kehl and longtime Hamilton County resident Bill Dennis.