Kosciusko County coroner arrested on OWI charge

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State police nabbed the Kosciusko county coroner and his son on drunk driving charges Sunday night.

Police say around 8:00 Sunday night, county coroner John Sadler’s 19-year-old son Derek was pulled over for driving 71 mph in a 60 mph zone on U.S. 30 near the intersection of County Road 400 W.

Derek Sadler was then arrested by a Indiana state trooper with a blood alcohol content of .17%, well above the legal limit of .08%.

That's when the story became a little stranger.

Police called John Sadler to tell him the news, and have him drive over to Whitley County to pick up his son's car.

When Sadler arrived at the scene where his son had just been booked for a OWI, police discovered he too had been drinking.

State police say Sadler was then arrested with a reported BAC of .10%, and also charged with possession of a switchblade knife.

As the news quickly spread across the small town of Warsaw Monday, the details left people confused as to how it could have happened.

“That was some really bad judgment there,” said Warsaw resident Kathy Lease.

“I will say that I have to give the police officer a lot of credit because he certainly knew what he coroner was and it was a very tough decision for him,” said Warsaw resident Dinah Ketrow.

So what happens now?

“I think it definitely should be looked at instead of turning your cheek to it I think somebody needs to address it,” Ketrow said.

County leaders say that, as an elected official, the coroner can't be removed from his post by anyone else in the county.

So he could serve out the rest of his term, unless he chooses to resign.

“He is an elected official and he needs to be setting an example. He needs to set another example and step down from the position,” Ketrow said.

Sadler has served as the Kosciusko county coroner for decades.

Meantime, county officials say the matter is really out of their hands.

WNDU spoke with County commissioners Monday, who say they will likely discuss the matter at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, and plan to keep an eye on the situation as it makes its way through the judicial process.

Meanwhile, WNDU tried to contact Sadler for comment Monday, and were not able to get through to him.

He did have a court hearing Monday afternoon in Whitley County, and we're waiting to hear the details.

Officials say both men were taken to the Whitley County Jail.

Police also say their earlier report that the younger Sadler was a deputy coroner was incorrect. Indiana State Police originally released that information to the media, then sent out a correction later in the day. Police say Derrick Sadler was wearing a Kosciusko County Coroner's jacket when he was arrested, and that caused the confusion.