In a town where everybody knows everybody and word travels fast, nobody seems to know anybody who knows why their police chief resigned Wednesday.
Chief Brett Sprinkle stepped down in a mutual agreement with the town, a week after his suspension. But Newburgh leaders remain quiet on the reason why.
Following the Town Council meeting, some neighbors say it’s time for answers.
“It was totally unexpected,” Alice Vansandt says, “I was real shocked for it to be Newburgh.”
Off to the side in council chambers, sits an empty chair with a blank nameplate. It’s a spot often reserved for the now-former chief.
Town leaders have repeatedly issued a calculated response to why he’s the now-former chief.
“Work performance complains that were brought to our attention,” says Tonya McGuire, president of the Police Merit Commission.
McGuire says Newburgh is now in a “healing mode,” but the police force of eight full-time officers will carry on.
“Our department, I would hold up to any department around,” McGuire adds.
Following Wednesday’s 2.5 hour meeting, council president Leanna Hughes, and councilman Bill Kavanaugh – the two other members of the police commission – declined to comment.
McGuire wouldn’t budge from her common statement, only adding complaints came from police officers and citizens, and wouldn’t clarify if the issues happened on or off the clock.
She did say the complaints weren’t due to one issue, but a series of events.
Warrick County Sheriff’s and Indiana State Police officials say there were no criminal investigations.
Major Eric Mitchell will serve as interim chief until a replacement is found. McGuire says it could take a couple of months for that to happen, and the same could be said for any answers.
“Everybody’s been very quiet,” says Vansandt, “of course, there’s a lot of questions.”
In a town where word travels fast, this one is moving awfully slow.