Boone County Sheriff to retire after allegations of misconduct

Former Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell
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The Boone County sheriff has called it quits amidst an investigation surrounding an affair with a known prostitute.

Ken Campbell is under federal investigation about that affair. The sheriff stepped down at the request of his chief deputy.

Campbell is well-known after being part of the law enforcement community in Boone County for more than 30 years. His interaction with the known prostitute while in uniform is at the center of the investigation.

The investigation involves Boone County and Hamilton County authorities as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sheriff Campbell's statement includes an apology admitting he made some "serious errors of judgement in my personal life."

Campbell's alleged affair with a known prostitute is the talk of the town.

"This problem he has should be between him and his wife and not everybody in the county. Everybody has got a private life. As far as him being the sheriff, he did his job. He did a wonderful job. I hope our new sheriff that is coming in does as well," said resident Janet Boone.

"It was a shock. Yet as a Christian I was forgiven and so how can we, we can't judge but be forgiving to him. Out of respect I would leave it them and let the family work it through," said Sonja Coffey, resident.

"You don't know how to approach that sort of thing. I guess some people tough it out. But I guess he feels like he owes it to the public to make a clean slate of it. I am sorry to hear that, sorry he is going," said Jim Buchanan.

Even with the investigation underway, Campbell insists he did nothing illegal.

"The Boone County Sheriff's Office is not involved in any part of the investigation into Ken Campbell's conduct. As of now, we have no new information to convey. At this time we feel it is best to focus our energy on moving forward," the sheriff's office said in a statement Friday.

There is no word yet if he plans to pursue any other political career in Boone County in the future.

Cpl. Chris Burcham, a public information officer, says it appears "Campbell made a mistake that will impact the department and the citizens of Boone County, but that the department will work diligently to right this wrong."

Following is a statement released by the department:

"Chief Deputy Major Mike Nielsen responded today to the announcement that Sheriff Ken Campbell is, or has been, the target of a joint investigation by the Boone County-Hamilton County Drug Task Force and the FBI.  The investigation involves alleged misconduct over the last three to four years with an alleged prostitute.


Major Mike Nielsen has worked with Campbell for 25 years in the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.  He currently serves as the Chief Deputy for the Boone County Sheriff’s Office; he has served in this position since 2007 and has been in Boone County law enforcement for over thirty years. Nielsen recently won the Republican nomination for Sheriff in the spring primary.

“Personally and professionally, I am deeply disappointed and extremely upset by this news,” stated Nielsen.  When I learned of the allegations a few days ago, I wanted to believe with all my heart that the allegations were false.  I gathered facts and verified them with Sheriff Campbell. I then met with the county attorney and afterwards I asked Sheriff Campbell to resign from the Sheriff’s Office. I believe that stepping down is not only what is best for the citizens of  Boone County and the employees of the Sheriff’s Office, but it is also the right thing to do.” 

When asked about any criminal charges or further investigation, Nielsen stated
. “At this point, I simply do not know.” 

Statement of Sheriff Ken Campbell


“Certain allegations have recently arisen in regards to my conduct.  While I believe I have committed no illegal acts, I must apologize for serious errors of judgment in my personal life.   I have thoughtlessly and deeply hurt my family, friends, co-workers and those who placed their trust in me.

I will make no excuses for my actions because there are no excuses.   I also realize that some might believe that all my previous words about honor, duty and responsibility now seem hypocritical.  While I completely understand those concerns, I would just say that I did, and still do, believe in those ideals even if I did not live up to them in my own personal life.

I will have no further statement on this matter and would ask for privacy as I work to regain the trust of my loving wife Shari and our family who has needlessly suffered because of my self-centered actions.  I will also work to again be worthy of the trust that so many placed in me over the years.

For now I am preparing to submit my retirement paperwork forthwith."