INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The associate director of Indiana’s Department of Child Services resigned a day after an intern reported him to human resources, saying he sent her inappropriate messages. Our news gather partners at the Indianapolis Star broke the story Thursday.
Todd Meyer was hired to lead changes at DCS following the release of an independent research study. According to the Indy Star, Meyer recruited the intern and later started sending the text messages.
Indy Star reporter Chris Sikich says the texting started out with things about work and quickly escalated to texts afterhours and on weekends.
“He would ask her personal questions about the perfume she was wearing,” said Sikich. “And it just escalated to a point where she felt it was inappropriate and uncomfortable and she didn’t know how to make him stop.”
Meyer left his position about a month ago with no fanfare and no reason was given for his departure. Sikich says DCS and the governor’s office declined to answer questions about him leaving.
The Indy Star later discovered the intern reported Meyer on July 15. She quit that day and Meyer resigned the day after.
Meyer apologized for his behavior in a statement Thursday:
“I should not have communicated in the manner I did. I am sorry for doing so and I apologize. I have learned from this mistake such that it will never happen again. These messages were intended to be received in a positive and friendly manner, but I now recognize they were not, and I understand. As soon as this matter was brought to my attention I spoke with my wife and children, we discussed the situation in its entirety, and we are learning and moving on from it.”
After the story broke, Governor Eric Holcomb responded by saying he was disgusted by what he read and he was “beyond disappointed.” However, he claims the situation was handled appropriately.
“This was brought to the attention of the agency on one day, and was followed up, all the way up through the chain, and he resigned the very next day, as that process, that investigative process, was just starting," said Holcomb.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody issued this statement:
“Another week, another disgraced Holcomb administration official accused of inappropriate conduct and betraying the public trust. Holcomb's hand-picked hire to turn around the agency resigned in disgrace just one year later. Did the administration fail to vet Meyer or was his hiring just a political favor? Either way, the governor looks like a lightweight after staking DCS’s turnaround on Meyer’s hire. It’s just the latest example of a culture of cronyism fueled by little to no accountability and where the governor allows perpetrators to quietly slink away without facing consequences for their actions. All while the number of child deaths is on the rise in Indiana.”