JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana sheriff went on administrative leave Wednesday a day after being charged with providing a prostitute with a deputy's badge and uniform.
Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden chose to go on paid leave, effective immediately, defense attorney Larry Wilder said. Wilder said the sheriff, who has denied the charges, wasn't forced to take the leave and will pay for his own legal fees.
A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday charges Rodden with lying to FBI agents and advising the prostitute to destroy the credentials and uniform, which could be used as evidence against him. Authorities allege that Rodden provided the materials so she could get hotel discounts.
Wilder said his 60-year-old client was distraught about what has happened and wants to do the right thing. Rodden has served as sheriff since 2007, and has been married for 29 years and has two adult children. Rodden has five months left in his current term as sheriff.
Chief Deputy John Kahafer will head the department in Rodden's absence.
According to the indictment, Rodden met the woman in May 2013 at hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, and provided her "with law enforcement credentials and an official deputy's badge" so she could obtain a government employee's rate at hotels. The indictment alleges that Rodden provided the woman with "a uniform shirt and other clothing bearing the insignia of the Clark County Sheriff's Department."
Rodden met the woman again in late May and paid her $300 to perform a sex act, according to the indictment.
"These are serious allegations, and Sheriff Rodden believes that in order to insure the continued effective operation of the Clark County Sheriff's Department it is necessary that he be placed on leave," Wilder said in a statement.
Rodden's arrest came just weeks after a suburban Indianapolis sheriff resigned over his own relationship with a prostitute. Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell has not been charged.
Prosecutors declined to say at a Tuesday news conference whether the cases were linked. But a person with knowledge of the connection told The Associated Press they involve the same woman. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the connection hasn't been made public.