Former Sheriff Jack Cottey

Dateline: Mon 23 Feb 2009

The red-haired former Marion County sheriff was in the deli pick-up line at Shapiro's on South Meridian last week, and as always, he's good for a story or two.

He is no longer writing his memoir, a project he promised when he retired as sheriff six years ago. "Nah," he said. "My wife said I can't do it...'You can't tell all that stuff about everyone,'" she warned him.

He did, however, enjoy former GOP Indiana chairman's book, "It's A Mighty Thin Pancake," which came out last year. Early and Cottey, both Republicans, also both served in the Marine Corps, and they share a jarhead approach to life: no bullshit.

"I asked Rex, 'Did you cut my ass up?'" laughed Cottey. Early did not. It was the ass of former Mayor Steve Goldsmith that got a slice and dice, said Cottey, chuckling.

As for the attention that Cottey always attracted -- some of it quite negative -- Cottey noted, as an aside, that he's glad he retired before things got too hot, media-wise. "Can you imagine what it would have been like if blogs had been around then?" he asked. He was laughing.

But then, he's been in a good mood since 2002, he said -- ever since he retired.

I told him I felt the same way.

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