County officials Feb. 9 announced Mike Luciani, a Republican, would not assume the position of county auditor after being elected to the position during the 2020 presidential elections, citing “personal reasons” for his change of mind.
“Mike Luciani greatly appreciates the trust of Boone County voters who elected him to serve as county auditor. He deeply regrets not being able to fulfill this role due to personal reasons,” a statement issued on Luciani’s behalf read.
Luciani defeated Kayla Jordan, a Democrat, in the elections, capturing 24,118 votes to Jordan’s 12,932.
Debbie Ottinger, the chair of the Boone County Republican Party, said Luciani was never sworn in as the county auditor, so there is no vacancy to fill.
“The auditor’s position, along with the clerk, the treasurer, the recorder, were established by the Indiana constitution,” Ottinger said. “Because they fall under the constitution, there is no deadline for a swearing in.
“He gets to say he doesn’t want to do it, but if something were to happen two years from now, that he wanted to take the position, he can. There is no deadline for him to be sworn in, so he can be sworn in any time during that four-year period.”
Ottinger said a caucus to elect someone else for the position cannot be held because of the unique circumstance.
Debbie Crum, who previously served as the county’s deputy auditor before being elected in a caucus to fill the role of county auditor for the remainder of Heather Meyer’s term following Meyer’s resignation from the position in 2020, will continue to serve as the county auditor. Crum has not been sworn into the position, Ottinger said.
Should Luciani decide to assume the role any time in the next four years, Crum would relinquish the position, Ottinger said, and Luciani would become the county auditor.
Typically, Ottinger said, elected officials are sworn sometime in early December, during a formal ceremony. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a ceremony was not held last year. All newly elected officials were sworn in and filed necessary paperwork by Jan. 1, when they take office, except for Luciani.
“Debbie Crum has remained steadfast in executing her duties as county auditor, and we have full faith that she will continue that dedication during the next four years,” Ottinger stated.