Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Should Straub Be Fired?
demand the firing of Public Safety Director Frank "I'm the police chief" Straub. The group is particularly upset that some high-ranking officers are being scape-goated for the mistakes that occurred in the investigation of Officer David Bisard after his police cruiser struck two motorcyclists, killing one and seriously injuring two others. Darryl Pierce and Ron Hicks, the number two and number three persons at IMPD, were demoted last weekend to the rank of lieutenants within the department in an effort to calm growing public anger over the handling of the case. Both were dispatched to the accident scene while IMPD Chief Paul Ciesielski met with Straub to discuss more pressing issues in Straub's office. Lt. George Crooks, who headed up the department's fatal alcohol crash team (FACT), was removed from his job even though he wasn't even at the accident scene. A Lawrence police department officer, Lt. Stan Stephens, a member of FACT, actually accompanied Bisard to the Methodist Hospital Occupational Clinic where his blood was drawn for testing. Stephens took more than an hour to deliver Bisard's blood sample for testing after it was drawn. According to WRTV, Stephens had lunch and visited with a friend before delivering the blood sample to the police property control room. The blood alcohol test showed Bisard to be intoxicated at a 0.19 level, more than double the legal limit. Prosecutors threw out the test results and dropped alcohol-related charges against Bisard after it was determined the blood had not been drawn by a person qualified under Indiana law to draw blood for such purposes. Bisard still faces several serious criminal charges, including reckless homicide.