Mediation Session Between Starke County Sheriff, Merit Board Scheduled for Today

Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen

A mediation session conducted by former Starke County Judge Marvin McLaughlin will be this morning at 9:00 a.m. McLaughlin, a current Starke County Councilman, volunteered to mediate a disagreement between Merit Board President Ken Arnett, and Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen.

The pair appeared before the County Council in mid-February. Arnett requested funds to fight a suit brought against him and the merit board members by the Sheriff.

Cowen said that it was not a suit, but a petition. In the petition, Cowen asked that Howard Williams, a legal advisor to the Sheriff’s Association, be permitted to reconstruct the board so, as Cowen said, it could be run on a proper level.

Arnett has indicated the attempt to reconstruct the board is only a way to remove him from the body.

The pair have squabbled about merit board matters in the past.

To keep the suit out of the court, McLaughlin agreed to mediate. Both the Sheriff and Arnett agreed to the mediation, which is closed to the media and public.