Ripley County Sheriff Leaving Office Early
By Mike Perleberg
(Ripley County, Ind.) – Ripley County’s sheriff is resigning the post at the end of March in order to take a new job.
Tom Grills announced his resignation – or early retirement as he put it – Monday in a letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence. The second-term sheriff’s final day leading the department will be March 31.
“I have enjoyed being Sheriff of Ripley County for the last seven years and three months, but have been offered a great opportunity in the private sector with this being my last year of my second term as Ripley County Sheriff,” Grills stated in the letter.
“I have always known there would be a time I would seriously have to consider transitioning from public safety. Being elected the Ripley County Sheriff has been the highest goal of my professional career. I have been honored to serve and protect the citizens of Ripley County and the State of Indiana.”
In an email to Eagle 99.3, Grills said he had planned to retire back in January, until the December arrest of his former chief deputy David Pippin on prescription pill charges.
“I didn’t want it to look like I was trying to hide anything, or be affiliated with that,” Grills said.
The sheriff wouldn’t say who his new employer will be, only that it’s a multi-million dollar company. He said that contrary to rumor, he is not going to work for a pipeline company which had at one point become the source of some controversy in Ripley County.
Grills, 38, is term-limited, meaning by law he cannot run for a third consecutive term as the county sheriff. His term would have continued through December 31, 2014.
Being an elected position, an interim sheriff to replace Grills starting April 1 would likely be selected by a caucus of Ripley County Republican precinct committee persons. In the meantime, recently promoted Corporal Rob Bradley, the department’s chief deputy, will assume the sheriff’s responsibilities.
Grills said the department will be in good hands with Bradley.
The election race to succeed Grills as county sheriff is a busy one. Three Republicans seeking the party nomination in the May 6 primary election are Jeff Cumberworth, Joe Mann, and Rob Bradley. Tim Sutton and Josh Thompson are the two Democrat candidates running.
In further explaining his premature departure, Grills quoted Robert Tew:
“Sometimes walking away has nothing do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.”