WLFI-TV 18 reporter Kayla Sullivan has been called out by the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department for spreading fake news. Sullivan, a TV-18 reporter who has a history of publishing negative stories about Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard, aired a news segment this week about officers being exposed to drugs within the jail.
Sullivan approached Fanesta Williams as she was walking along the street. During the interview, Sullivan referred to Fanesta as a “DCS employee,” a claim that Angie Guimond, DCS Supervisor, later refuted.
During her TV 18 interview, Fanesta stated, “I’ve had to take children on visits with their parents and I’ve seen inmates slipped all kinds of drugs during visits. I’ve seen people walking around high off substances.”
Sullivan left viewers with the impression that Williams was referring to the Tippecanoe County Jail. It turns out it wasn’t true at all, and Williams doesn’t even work for the Department of Child Services.
Chief Deputy Steve Hartman stated, “This morning, Sheriff Richard received an email from Angela Guimond, who is the Local Office Director for DCS. Angela told us that Fanesta is not an employee of DCS and Fanesta’s ‘statements do not reflect the organization at all.'”
Hartman went on to report that Fanesta Williams’ comments were of great concern so they reached out to her for specific information about “inmates being slipped all kinds of drugs and inmates being high.”
Williams was interviewed by department officials and stated that her comments were related to “personal knowledge of an Illinois jail twenty years ago.” She also stated that she informed Sullivan during the interview that she was referring to Illinois, and not the Tippecanoe County jail. [Go to the LCJ Facebook Page to watch the interview.]
“I think my words were taken out of context,” commented Williams during her interview with the deputy. “And I have never been to any prison or jail in Indiana.” Williams went on to say that she made it clear to Kayla Sullivan that she was referring to a jail in Illinois during the interview.
“Either Kayla didn’t do her due diligence, or she knowingly put out a fake news story intended to discredit the sheriff,” commented a concerned citizen who read the TCSD Press Release.
“It has become obvious to fair-minded people that Kayla has put Barry under a faulty microscope,” the citizen continued. “It’s blatantly obvious that she’s out to get him on behalf of her political friends. Barry Richard is wildly popular in this community, so her frustrations have likely caused her to become more dishonest and careless in her attempt to smear the sheriff.”
Recently Sullivan attempted to blame Sheriff Richard for an inmate escaping from a hospital after a judge ordered him released from the jail on his own recognizance. Sheriff Richard had no control over the matter. All sheriffs, past and present, have been faced with the same issue of hospitalized inmates failing to return to the jail upon release from institutions.
This week deputies were hospitalized after coming into contact with unknown substances at the Tippecanoe County Jail. Sullivan was obviously attempting to lay the blame for drugs being smuggled into the jail on the sheriff; however, a former Tippecanoe County Sheriff recently stated that it happens in every jail, including the Tippecanoe County Jail, no matter how hard one tries to prevent it.
“It happens all the time,” commented the former sheriff. “They get real creative hiding drugs in various body cavities.”
Click on the Press Release to enlarge: