Monday, November 01, 2010

Wells Family Turns Against Ballard

Angered by the discovery that Public Safety Director Frank Straub has been sitting on a completed report into the fatal alcohol collision involving IMPD K-9 Officer David Bisard that left motorcyclist Eric Wells dead and two others seriously injured, the family of Eric Wells publicly attacked Mayor Greg Ballard today. The parents of Wells are accusing the Ballard administration of engaging in a cover up. According to the Star's John Tuohy,  Wells' father complained that “Public safety is not Job One” to Mayor Ballard as he often claims. "Cover-up is Job One,” Wells told the Star.

A police source claims Public Safety Director Frank Straub has been sitting on a report that was completed three weeks ago. Straub told the media in response to the criticism he is still reviewing documents and will release a report in mid-November. Mary Wells, mother of Eric Wells, told the Star she was shocked to learn through the media the report had been completed but not released. “They have not treated us like victims, they have treated us like nobodies,” she said. “It shows a lack of respect for us as a family.”

If the Wells' family anger is not enough, general disdain of rank-and-file police officers toward Straub has seems to continue unabated. Police continue to complain about Straub's dictatorial style. A group of police complained they were required to stand at attention to the civilian bureaucrat when he entered a room for a recent meeting with a group of officers at the command of his new Deputy Public Safety Director Rick Hite. Another report claims Straub recently had an officer transferred after he refused to issue Hite a department-issued handgun until he had been certified to use the firearm. A lot of petty stuff flying around. For the time being, Ballard seems to be quite happy to let Straub absorb all criticism for the administration's management of IMPD whether it is warranted or not.


Wilson46201 said...

Mayor Ballard and his GOP Council should remember that although Straub's name will appear nowhere on the ballot a year from now, their names will!

Concerned Taxpayer said...

"... he is still reviewing documents..."
That's New York-ese for demanding changes be made in the report.
What other possible reason could there be for sitting on this when it is still so high profile?

Downtown Indy said...

Straub has been uncharacteristically invisible for more than a month. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

dcrutch said...

The police have an incredibly tough job that is little-appreciated. But, when an officer is not given the on-the-scene breathalyzer an average citizen would receive where there's a vehicular fatality, then the delayed testing is declared inadmissable, there is understandable public outrage.

Why would we have any less than outrage with this further wrinkle on the incident?

Marycatherine Barton said...

Has Ballard no heart for the Wells?

Blog Admin said...

DI, I thought the same for a while. But then something that describes the same events that Gary writes about landed in my inbox. I thought Straub had learned his lesson, but apparently he hasn't.

TwoDomeTown said...

AI, while I appreciate your criticism of Straub, I think you are missing the bigger picture. IMPD, and formerly IPD has always been a corrupt organization. In fact, the first chief of the department left there in handcuffs as have many others along the way. The department has always been run by insiders and even they have had little luck controlling the culture of the organization. Whenever someone from the outside has been brought in, they have been systematically dismembered just as Straub is being now. For interesting reading, take a look at a series of reports done by the Star beginning in Feb, 1974 for a better sense of history, and for which they won a Pullitzer. In 1977, the officers of IPD surrounded the city county building with their squad cars - lights and sirens blaring, locked the doors, threw the keys in a barrel, and walked away.

The IMPD is and has been corrupt for 100 years. That doesn't mean that there aren't good officers on the department but their culture has been corrupt for so long that they don't know any other reality. The only way to combat this is from the outside.

Be careful you don't become a pawn for a corrupt system that is older and larger than you know.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't object to an outsider's perspective in general. I think Mayor Ballard by and large has failed to get any outsider's perspective in his administration. You don't have to come from half way across the country to bring that perspective; you can have a view from the outside and also come from pretty close to home. My problem with Straub is that he sees himself as the real police chief; he is not. He has completely undermined the IMPD chief in the process, who apparently cares more about having the title than the respect of those who serve below him. I've listened to Straub speak at length to the city-county council. He is a meglomaniac of extreme proportions. That should be quite apparent to anyone who listens to him speak at these council meetings.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Ah, yes, political corruption both in the mayor's office and the police department.

Read Dick Cady's book (Deadline: Indianapolis) and weep for our city.

Anonymous said...

So much for the Ballard transparency. Is there a 3 strikes your out rule for mayors?
My prayers and thoughts to the family.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I will read Cady's book, HintheH. My dad told me that our cousin, Mayor John Barton, was too honest to be elected (we all know how the county chair of the Democrat Party ran against him in the primary), and did not get out the vote for him, ushering in Luger and UNIGOV. John himself told me that members of the D Party approached him and asked him to do illegal things, which he turned down. He supported me in my campaigns, and only asked me to promise him one thing, to be honest.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

One officer recently reported that a group of officers was made to come to "Attention" when Herr DOC-TOR entered the room.
Just like an Italian dictator!

Indy4U2C said...

Mayor Ballard told us his administration would be transparent and the people would know what their government is doing, yet he is allowing Straub to edit the report that will be released. If the Mayor were transparent there would be NO NEED to "review" privately the report before it is released, because the report is what it is. The "review" is really what we all call a chance to edit (change) to make the report appear to be something else.

I think the public can see that Straub is a megalomaniac, after all, instead of allowing police commanders to do their job, he had the Chief ORDER them to attend a Straub-praising session in front of the media. I have no doubt the report is highly critical of political interference with the police department.

Elected Officials should not be using city employees as public relations puppets to stand before the media on our tax-funded payroll and put on a false image improvement session for a political crony.

One may compare Straub's actions to those of Henrich Himler with brain-washing, propaganda, spying on executive staff.

Perhaps we now have a "GeStraubo" secret police working for the mayor??? After all, after an electronic eavesdropping device was found in the office of a deputy chief of police, it was publicized that Straub ordered the Chief of Police to give Straub absolute control over the unit that found the hidden device!

The cover-up is apparent. Straub obviously is making the report read what he wants it to read....that is the "review" he referred to.

TwoDomeTown said...

Indy4U2C - So you think Straub is the problem with the police department? If he were removed then things would get better? Back to normal even?

Indy4U2C said...

TwoDomeTown: I think Straub is bad for Indianapolis. He is a megalomaniac.

...and worse: Mayor Ballard let's Straub do as he pleases without control

Indy4U2C said...

and I have a question:
Why would Straub be given a firearm by the police department? He cannot legally carry it because he is a political crony, not a police officer.

-why would he need one?

Firearms cost about $600/each. It seems this would be a waste of our tax money!

Stand at "attention" for a political crony?????? LOL!

Marycatherine Barton said...

Yes, I think that Straub is a globalist, just as is Ballard, and was brought to our fair city to set up a secret police unit. I just hope that Kennedy, once elected, will quickly dismantle what anti-populace goon squads that Ballard succeeds in establishing. Marion County First; elected officers and their appointees should be there to serve us, not deceive us!

garyj said...

Srraub now has at least 2 drivers / security details. These are full time police officers that are on the taxpayers dime. All to be at his beckon call.
2 cops off the street to protect a guy who feels that HE is the Chief.
Even Randall Shepard doesn't have a security detail, and he hold s an important position.