Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Indy Police Corruption Widens

The Star is reporting tonight that Johnson County officials have charged two Indianapolis law enforcement officials in connection with a prostitution business operating in Greenwood. Jerry McCory, a former high-ranking official in the administration of Mayor Bart Peterson and now a top aide to Sheriff Frank Anderson, has been charged with patronizing a prostitute. A key person involved in the prostitution business is an IMPD police officer according to the Johnson Co. Prosecutor's Office. Officer Jeremy Lee is charged with promoting prostitution, a felony punishable by up to eight years in prison. Lee's wife, Lori Vernon-Lee, has also been charged with running a house of prostitution under the guise of an escort service from the couple's home. Officer Lee is accused of collecting money from johns while in his police uniform.

UPDATE: McCory resigned his jail liaison position in the Sheriff's Office after his arrest according to news reports. Also, Chief Michael Spears says he has terminated Officer Lee's employment.

Here's how the Johnson Co. Prosecutor's Office described the activities:

“It was alleged that Lori Vernon-Lee recruited women to serve as escorts and then advertised their services in Nuvo Magazine. When “clients” called Lori Vernon-Lee’s escort service, she would arrange for a meeting between the “client” and one of the escorts, according to the affidavit.“

At these meetings, money was exchanged for various sex acts. The escort was then required to pay some of the money collected (usually about half) to Lori Vernon Lee. The probable cause affidavit alleges that Lori Vernon-Lee’s husband, who is an IMPD police officer, would collect money from the escorts while wearing his IMPD


Indy4U2C said...

I want to emphasize that McCory was a Democrat hack, given a make-work, do-nothing job and fat pay check by Bart...and when Bart was ousted, Frank took him in under the same.

Ghost employment, cronyism, corruption....Democrats

I remember when the top aid to the Democrat governor was caught by police with a prostitute, and tried to get out of it by showing his credentials as the top aide to the Democrat governor.

Hoosiernick said...

Democrats have no corner on cronyism or corruption. Let's wait unitl we see the "John List" from this little enterprise before we start hanging halos over GOP heads.

My big question is "Why Johnson County"? Running a prostitution ring in Greenwood is like trying to do a tent meeting in Vegas. And even more incredibly, How did Nuvo manage to steal rack space from the Pentecostal Weekly?

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Here we go again. Another case of the failed policies of Bart Peterson and his band of merry men.

It was strongly rumored within the department the last year of so of its existence (IPD), that polygraph tests were no longer given to applicants. Perhaps this was true, after all. How else could someone who had already been running an "escort" service be hired?

And Jerry McCory was another political joke. Peterson hired him when the REAL public safety director (Robert Turner) kept telling Peterson that the "consolidation plan" made up by "experts" like Susannah Overholt, Scott Chinn, and Mike O'Connor was NOT going to work.

Peterson needed a "public safety advisor" that would tell the media what Peterson wanted, not tell them the truth.

It will take years for this city to recover from these irresponsible blunders.

Sean Shepard said...

My wife and I were talking this week about how it seems that there has been a lot of effort this year in cleaning up the police department.

Does anyone have any insight on whether or not this is an intentional effort or project on the part of the Ballard administration? (Greenwood issues notwithstanding obviously)

I spoke with an IMPD officer recently and point blank asked "how are things under Mayor Ballard (as opposed to Anderson)?" He hedged a bit to avoid any political comment but essentially said, "things are 100 times better than what we had not that long ago".

artfuggins said...

These investigations started under Peterson. In some cases they have been ongoing for two years. Once again, Ballard will get credit for something that Peterson started. We are still waiting on any ideas, plans, proposals or initiatives from Ballard other than his idea to build a Chinatown on the south side.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't disagree with you, Art. When I discover action the Ballard administration is specifically taking to sweep out the bad cops, I'll let you know. I can tell you there were more than a few heads turned by the first round of promotions handed down by the new administration within the department. The announcements did not exactly instill confidence within the ranks of the good cops within the department.

Indy4U2C said...


If you think that the investigation of political crony Jerry McCory started under bart, then you are a fool....if Bart started an investigation, it should have been a background check instead of a search for cronys.

Jason said...

Art, that's simply not true. WOS is one of the officers recently indicted was picked up on a wire a few years ago but due a family tie within Anderson's campaign the investigation was nixed.

Due to departmental abuses with the polygraph system the city told them to stop administering them since the lawsuits surrounding them were getting pricey. People were informed they had failed the polygraph in letters that were dated and mailed before they had even taken the polygraph. There really isn't much of an argument against the polygraph now, however if they are administered in the same way they were before the same problems will continue to arise. To say that any of these investigations were begun under Peterson is simply not true, especially considering they were all run by federal agencies OR involved officers that never worked under Peterson.

artfuggins said...

Jason, much of your info is untrue. This investigation was not started to get McCory. He was caught in the sweep. If you think that this investigation started in the few months that Ballard has been in office then you are naive. It is an ongoing investigation that started several months before Peterson left office. Give credit where credit is due.