The Barge story

An in-depth look at the allegations against Amanda Barge and how she responded to them.

Drake speaks at opioid summit

September 2017

Brandon Drake, who was working as an intervention and recovery coach at the time, spoke at the first South Central Opioid Summit, which county commissioner Amanda Barge helped found.

Drake begins structuring Pathways

October 2017

Drake said Barge asked him to spearhead Pathways, a helpline for people struggling with addiction in Monroe County, after seeing him speak at the summit. He left his job to begin structuring the program.

Brandon Drake sits in his Bloomington home March 19. He alleges that 2019 Bloomington mayoral candidate Amanda Barge sexually harassed him for over a year.

Barge reportedly expresses feelings toward Drake

November 2017

Drake said this was the first time Barge told him she had feelings for him. He told her he didn’t date married women. Looking back, he now says he should have been more clear that he specifically did not want to date her.

Barge reportedly expresses feelings toward Drake again

December 2017

Drake said the next time Barge told him how she felt was over the phone around this time while she was in Indianapolis. When he rejected her, he said she told him he had too many rules in his sex life.

Pathways officially begins

January 2018

Pathways’ contracts with Monroe County and the Monroe County Health Department began.

Barge’s alleged harassment continues

February 2018

Drake said Barge began accusing him of having sex with some of their mutual acquaintances and colleagues around this time. Donyel Byrd, a colleague of Drake’s, said she remembers him telling her that Barge accused him of having sex with his therapist.

Barge asks Drake to date her again

July 26, 2018

In July 2018, Drake was in contract negotiations with the Monroe County Health Department, which he said owed him money. Barge, he said, was critical to helping him get paid at the time. On July 26, 2018, just days before a meeting with the health department over the money, Barge texted Drake asking him again to date her.

Pathways contract ends

August 2018

Pathways’ contract with the county and health department ended.

Drake emails Barge about alleged harassment

Aug. 2, 2018

Drake sends Barge an email expressing his discomfort with their relationship. “This is the third time you've done this, I wasn't sure what to say or what to do,” it read. “Let me share and be open with you: When you come onto me over and over again with the power that you have in your hands it can be very scary for me.”

Barge tells Drake she won’t run for mayor

Aug. 15, 2018

In a conversation Drake recorded Aug. 15, 2018, Barge told Drake his harassment allegations made her decide to not run for mayor.

Barge announces exploratory committee

Nov. 13, 2018

Barge announced an exploratory committee to decide whether she would run for mayor.

Amanda Barge announces her decision to run for mayor in the upcoming election on Jan. 22 in Upland Brewing Co. Barge, the Monroe County Commissioners Vice President, will run against the current mayor, John Hamilton.

Barge announces mayoral run

Jan. 22, 2019

Barge announced she was running for mayor in a small event building behind Upland Brewing Company.

Barge declines to comment on allegations

March 25, 2019

The Indiana Daily Student approached Barge for comment about a story detailing Drake’s allegations of sexual harassment against her. She declined to speak on the record and provided a written statement. The story published on March 25, 2019.

Barge suspends mayoral campaign

March 26, 2019

The day after the story published, Barge announced she was suspending her mayoral campaign. Her name, however, would still appear on the ballots, and she could still win the primary.

Mayor Hamilton issues statement on Barge

March 26, 2019

Mayor John Hamilton, the incumbent running against Barge in the Democratic primary, released a statement praising Drake for coming forward and noting that “sexual harassment and other abusive behaviors can happen to anyone.”

Monroe County Legal Department releases first statement

March 28, 2019

The Monroe County Legal Department released a statement in response to the recent allegations against Barge. The six-page history of Drake’s work with the county and health department did not address the allegations that Barge sexually harassed him.

Democratic Women’s Caucus withdraws endorsement of Barge

March 28, 2019

The Democratic Women’s Caucus issued a statement withdrawing its endorsement of Barge’s campaign and saying it does not condone sexual harassment of any kind.

Black Lives Matter Bloomington calls for Barge to resign

April 1, 2019

Black Lives Matter Bloomington called for Barge to resign from her seat on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners. “Black Lives Matter B-town believes Mr. Drake because we as an organization always believe survivors, and we are especially invested in supporting and protecting survivors of color,” a press release from the group read.

Barge speaks publicly for the first time

April 3, 2019

In her first public statement since the allegations ran in the IDS, Barge denied ever sexually harassing Drake or holding his livelihood over his head.

County commissioner reads statement

April 3, 2019

County commissioner Lee Jones read a statement from the county’s legal department at a Board of Commissioners meeting. The statement focused on the documentation used in the IDS article and said Drake did not report sexual harassment through county channels.

Monroe County Democratic Party calls for resignation

April 6, 2019

The Monroe County Democratic Party called for Barge to resign as county commissioner. “Commissioner Amanda Barge’s alleged actions are incompatible with public office and the Indiana Democratic Party’s Platform,” a statement from the party read.

Barge resigns as county commissioner

April 8, 2019

Two weeks after the allegations published, Barge resigned from her seat as county commissioner. “I have struggled mightily with this decision, and how to defend myself from allegations of sexual harassment in a way that is respectful of everyone involved,” she wrote in her resignation letter.

An early voting sign is posted at Monroe County Election Central. Early voting for the city primary elections began April 9.

Early voting for the primary starts

April 9, 2019

Early voting for the primaries began April 9.

Barge confirms she will not accept nomination

April 9, 2019

Barge confirmed she would not accept the mayoral nomination even if she were to receive more votes than Hamilton.