Local pastors demanding resignation of Sheriff Jim Hammond
Correction: A previous version of this story indicated Wilkey was on the city's payroll. Wilkey, as a Hamilton County employee, is being paid by county resources.
A group of Hamilton County pastors and ministers is calling for Sheriff Jim Hammond's resignation after one of his deputies was indicted on 44 charges.
Deputy Daniel Wilkey is facing a long list of charges, including stalking, sexual battery, and rape.
The religious leaders from Hamilton County, known as The Consortium of pastors and ministers, believe this behavior speaks to the culture at the Sheriff's Office and that change starts with Sheriff Jim Hammond resigning.
"I don't even feel comfortable with telling people to trust a process and a system that runs rampant and violates the people they ought to be protecting and serving," said Pastor Timothy Careathers with Westside Missionary Baptist.
A Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Deputy Daniel Wilkey on 44 charges, including multiple felonies. Wilkey remains on the county's payroll.
"They are career criminals with badges," Careathers told Channel 3.
Dash cam video was released back in July showing Wilkey performing a cavity search on the side of the road-- resulting in various charges including rape.
The same traffic stop has led to a civil lawsuit. It's one of 25 lawsuits filed against Wilkey.
"The issue is not just with the deputies but with the culture the sheriff and the department has set," said Careathers.
Pastor Timothy Careathers says it took too long for the deputy to be indicted and now it is time for the Hamilton County Sheriff to resign.
"2022 is way too long to wait for Sheriff Hammond not to run again. I believe he needs to be gone now," Careathers added.
Sheriff Jim Hammond chose not to respond to demands for his resignation,but says he's bound to follow the department's internal affairs process, telling Channel 3, "The wheels of justice turn, but they turn slowly."
"Wheels of justice should be automatic, but when you have been guilty of leaving off all of those wheels, the wheels don't turn at all," said Careathers.
Sheriff Hammond tells Channel 3, Deputy Wilkey will appear before the disciplinary committee on December 30. That is when the 44- count indictment will be entered into the record.
Hammond says that step will allow him to fire Wilkey, which he says he plans to do.
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