SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Tippecanoe Co. Prosecutor candidates' final plea

The prosecutor is the most powerful position in Tippecanoe County law enforcement. That's why thousands are still deciding who is best for the job.

Posted: May 3, 2018 6:53 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- If you were to imagine this race as a jury trial, we would be at the part where the defendant decides whether to take the stand. They can refuse to talk, but both Tippecanoe County Prosecutor candidates decided to 'testify' this week. 

Incumbent Prosecutor Patrick Harrington and his challenger Earl McCoy are not on trial. But if they were, they'd plead not guilty to each other's accusations.


"From the very beginning, Mr. Harrington has launched a smear campaign," said McCoy. 

"This is a well-organized campaign out there that's based upon deception and lies," said Harrington. 

But both candidates say their 'book of facts' tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so, help yourself to a copy:

Earl McCoy's book

Patrick Harrington's book

"The public knows," said McCoy. 

McCoy has a problem with how and when Harrington's office files cases.

"He's concerned about a conviction rate, if it looks even close, he won't file it," said McCoy. 

McCoy calls Harrington's method, cherry-picking.

"They want proof beyond a reasonable doubt before they file," said McCoy. "And sometimes that takes years to determine."

"Our burden is beyond a reasonable doubt," said Harrington. "Police [responsibility] is probable cause. In many cases, like I said, there's beyond a reasonable doubt evidence in your probable cause affidavit."

But McCoy has a different interpretation of how it should work.

"You file the charges, you go through the discovery process, you have testing done, and at some point if we learn through the process that the charges are inaccurate, we can deal with that," said McCoy. 

What do other Prosecutors think about no-file cases? White County Prosecutor Robert Guy says, "It is a prosecutor's role to review, not rubber stamp every report with criminal charges. We are the checks and balances to ensure the innocent are not wrongfully charged with a crime." 15-20 percent of Guy's cases go unfiled.

McCoy maintains he can do better, as long as there's probable cause to file a charge.

You may remember this campaign video, where McCoy said he got word his opponent was going to attack him about his tax issues. He admitted to tax problems, but didn't go in depth. News 18 asked, why?

"I addressed them somewhat vaguely because the real allegations hadn't been made public yet," responded McCoy. "They were being done secretly, being done behind the scenes, and then I find it interesting that he was hoping the media would pick up and run with it and then that didn't happen fast enough so he came out with his book."

But News 18 did run a tax story a few days after the release of McCoy's video. He doesn't dispute over a decade of late payments in federal, state, and local taxes. However, he does disagree with its relevance to the position of prosecutor.

"Those tax issues are not handled by the prosecutor," said McCoy. "They're handled by the auditor, the treasurer, human resources. The prosecutor doesn't deal with those issues. Just like now, I've turned those issues over to my accountant."

His accountants issued a statement saying all of McCoy's tax issues have been resolved and do not affect his ability to serve as prosecutor. But we did find one outstanding penalty of $141.

"I didn't know about that $141," said McCoy.

"But it is taken care of now?" asked News 18's Kayla Sullivan. 

"Yes," responded McCoy. 

We informed McCoy about the penalty on April 6. Tippecanoe County Treasurer Jennifer Weston confirmed McCoy paid that penalty on April 12 as well as the first and second installment of this year.

Like good jurors, these candidates hope you'll take all of the facts into consideration. Crediting their websites, booklets, and videos as your evidence.

Unlike a jury, voters don't get to take all the time they need to make a decision in this race.

The deadline for your verdict is this Tuesday.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Mostly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 61°
Fowler
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 71°
Williamsport
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 67°
Crawfordsville
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 66°
Frankfort
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 66°
Delphi
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 65°
Monticello
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 65°
Logansport
Mostly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 66°
Big weather change ahead!!
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 733591

Reported Deaths: 13466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1003871748
Lake54020975
Allen40829679
St. Joseph35898552
Hamilton35735408
Elkhart28745442
Tippecanoe22432219
Vanderburgh22342397
Porter18871310
Johnson18028381
Hendricks17283315
Clark13015191
Madison12725339
Vigo12482248
LaPorte12011214
Monroe11928170
Delaware10726187
Howard9959218
Kosciusko9451117
Hancock8325142
Bartholomew8085156
Warrick7792155
Floyd7677178
Grant7080174
Wayne7064199
Boone6722101
Morgan6596139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6083112
Cass5839105
Dearborn582178
Henry5767104
Noble563684
Jackson502773
Shelby493696
Lawrence4571120
Harrison436372
Gibson436292
DeKalb429685
Clinton428153
Montgomery425389
Whitley397439
Huntington393380
Steuben390057
Miami382668
Knox372690
Jasper370148
Putnam362360
Wabash354980
Adams341955
Ripley340270
Jefferson331581
White315654
Daviess298299
Wells291981
Decatur285692
Fayette281662
Greene280085
Posey271933
LaGrange268370
Scott267254
Clay260647
Washington241832
Randolph241481
Spencer232631
Jennings230649
Starke217854
Fountain213246
Sullivan212142
Owen202156
Jay196730
Fulton195640
Carroll189620
Orange184154
Perry184037
Rush173725
Vermillion169743
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146616
Blackford135132
Pike135134
Pulaski117145
Newton108334
Brown102641
Crawford101315
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71110
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events