ANDERSON, Ind. -- Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings is calling out Anderson Police Chief Tony Watters for what he apparently said to state police as they arrested his son last month.
As a prosecutor, Cummings gets more access to case information than the public. When he read the conversation between Anderson Police Chief Tony Watters and state police, he says he couldn’t stay silent. He also said he spoke with the state investigator involved.
“It’s my responsibility to say something when something like that happens,” said Cummings. “The chief cursed them out, called them cowboys, said he owns this town, used a number of expletives, gave them the finger.”
The conversation between state police and the police chief is documented in a police report, but we are told that report is not public record. That’s part of the reason Cummings was so compelled to tell the public about what was in there.
“There’s an abuse of authority in my opinion, for the police chief to say, ‘Hey cowboys, I own this town, you can’t do that here.' That’s absolutely an attitude that is unacceptable. I’m not going to remain quiet when I hear those kind of things being said,” said Cummings.
We asked Chief Watters for a comment as he walked into work Monday.
“I fully cooperated with the Indiana State Police investigation,” said Watters.
He would not comment further when asked about the specifics of what he is accused of saying to state police.
“None of us own this town, what we have is a public responsibility to serve citizens of this community, and those words should never come out of the mouth of anyone in a public position,” said Cummings.
Prosecutor Cummings said he would like to see the chief demoted, but that’s up to Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. to decide. He told us he is waiting to meet with state police on Wednesday to learn more about what happened.
“I expect the mayor to do the right thing. I trust him to stand up for this community and do the right thing," said Cummings. "It’s his choice to make.”
Meanwhile, Watter's son, Adam, who is also an Anderson police officer, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave and faces multiple charges, including domestic battery, strangulation, and criminal confinement. A special prosecutor will handle that case.