Further evidence emerged at the license hearing this week that OmniSource and the off-duty cops who worked there knew some scrap metal purchases were highly suspicious:
Several weeks ago, WRTV reported that the grand jury investigation would be concluded that week. Still, there have been no charges brought against OmniSource or any of the off-duty officers. I reported earlier on how Public Safety Director Scott Newman said at one of the Mayor's Night Out meetings that he saw no evidence that either OmniSource or any of the off-duty police officers had broken the law, essentially giving them a clean bill of health. During the period that off-duty police officers were employed in large numbers at OmniSource, its competitors were regularly targeted by undercover officers and charged with purchasing stolen scrap metal. The lead scrap metal investigator for IMPD was employed by OmniSource for off-duty work.
Off-duty Indianapolis police officers allowed their part-time employer, OmniSource, to purchase suspicious or stolen metals at least 21 times in 2008, a city attorney said Friday.
The off-duty officers documented the suspicious purchases in reports that came to light during a hearing to determine whether the company should be granted a license to continue buying and selling scrap metal in Marion County.
But while they documented the purchases, they took no action to stop them at the time.
"They saw something wrong and felt it was wrong enough to document it, not knowing what would become of it," said Maj. Chris Boomershine. "That's not uncharacteristic of a lot of part-time situations where things come to an officer's attention."
Boomershine is the commander of a team of detectives who spent nearly a year documenting allegedly illegal transactions at OmniSource locations.
Under the circumstances, it would seem to be making a complete mockery of the City's licensure requirement to issue OmniSource a license now, but I wouldn't be surprised if a license is awarded to them. The fact that the company never bothered getting a license after it helped write the ordinance suggests it thought it was above the law because it had more than 50 police officers on its payroll. The company has hired high profile criminal defense attorney Larry Mackey, a Barnes & Thornburg partner, to defend it in this action. The law firm does considerable legal work for the City and two of its top attorneys, Bob Grand and Joe Loftus, personally advise Mayor Ballard.
As I reported earlier, Mackey wrote a letter to Scott Newman and Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi urging them to discipline IMPD's lead investigator in the case because he shared information about the case with members of the news media while the case was pending before a grand jury. Newman is a former partner at Barnes & Thornburg.