Former Public Safety Director Frank Straub didn't violate a city policy when he began a romantic relationship with Indianapolis' animal control chief before his departure this month.
That's because the city lacks a rule barring relationships between supervisors and subordinates -- an omission that, according to an Indiana human resources expert, opens up the city unnecessarily to potential lawsuits. Or charges of favoritism from other employees. Or, if the partners split up, allegations of sexual harassment.
In Straub's case, the story has a happy ending.
He and Animal Care and Control Chief Amber Myers, who resigned Monday and is leaving her job Sept. 14, are engaged. Straub soon will start a new job as police chief in Spokane, Wash.
But in a nod to the potential risks posed when a supervisor dates someone he or she oversees, the city is considering a new rule for the employee handbook . . .The Star tried to get a comment from Mayor Ballard, who accompanied Indy's shadow mayor Bob Grand on another all-expense paid trip to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, but he refused to comment. Grand's handpicked chief of staff to the mayor, Ryan Vaughn, told Murray that there was some discomfort with the relationship. Apparently Straub didn't advise the mayor's office he was doing Amber until August 2, more than a month after Straub was originally suppose to depart his job, a date that had been pushed back because his replacement had not yet been appointed. The pressure is now on Councilor Ben Hunter, who serves as the Butler President's Chief of Staff, to put the finishing touches on the university's new parking garage, which we're wondering if he and Vaughn hopes will be landed by Ersal Ozdemir, another guy down in Tampa with Mayor Ballard who got $6.5 million of your tax dollars to build his parking garage in Broad Ripple thanks to Vaughn. Hunter recently gave a job in the Butler President's office to Vaughn's wife.
UPDATE: News of Straub's relationshion with Myers is causing waves in Spokane where his appointment as that city's police chief still must receive approval by the city council. According to a report in the Spokesman-Review, Straub's relationship with a subordinate would have violated Spokane's employment policies. Spokane's Mayor David Condon said he was aware of the relationship when contacted by the newspaper but considered it a "personal matter." Asked if he thought it would hurt Straub's chances of being confirmed by the council, he responded, "I would hope not."