FORT WAYNE -- After storming out of an Allen County Ethics Commission meeting Monday, Thomas Ryan sent a brief email to the Allen County commissioners, announcing his immediate resignation from the commission.
Although county commissioners will have to find a replacement for Ryan on the three-member ethics commission, there has been no discussion or as to who or when that person will be appointed, county spokesman Michael Green said.
The commission has been investigating a complaint filed by a citizen alleging that County Councilman Paul Moss and County Sheriff Ken Fries violated the county’s code of ethics during a highly publicized traffic stop on June 2.
Allen County sheriff’s officers pulled Moss over at 2:30 a.m. in a car that smelled of alcohol. Moss refused a portable breath test and then called a vacationing Fries on his cellphone. Fries spoke to one of his officers at the scene, and Moss was allowed to find a ride home.
Moss is accused of asking for special treatment.
Other commission members include Tom Hardin, law partner of county Republican Chairman Steve Shine, and Democratic appointee and local business owner Wendy Stein.
Ryan, a retired Allen Circuit Court judge, has consistently voted to drop the panel’s investigation into the ethics complaint, calling it a “witch hunt.”
After Ryan walked out of the meeting, Hardin and Stein agreed to conduct a public hearing Nov. 30 during which the commission will ask Moss to appear and possibly answer questions.
The panel ruled last month that Fries is not subject to the county’s ethics ordinance, but falls under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Merit Board.
For more on this story, see Friday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or go to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Friday.