Thursday, September 20, 2012

Public Safety's Professional Standards Chief Wrecked City-Issued Car In City Garage

People are asking questions about a recent one-car crash in the basement parking garage of the City-County Building involving a city-owned car driven by the Department of Public Safety's Chief of Professional Standards Ellen Corcella. According to a police report, IMPD Officer Brandon Laser responded to a report of damage to a city-owned vehicle on September 6, 2012 around 10:00 a.m. "A city owned vehicle had sustained damage to its right rear passenger door and fender while in the basement at this location [50 N. Alabama street]," Officer Laser's report reads. The report identifies a 4-door, 2011 Ford Fusion driven by Corcella as the vehicle which sustained the property damage. The report indicates that photographs were taken, but no arrests or tickets were issued.

A source tells Advance Indiana that more than two hours passed before a portable breathalyzer test was administered on Corcella, who acted "strange" and "agitated" according to the source. No blood alcohol test was performed on Corcella according to the source. Corcella was directed by former Public Safety Director Frank Straub to investigate how a blood vial containing blood drawn from Officer David Bisard, the IMPD officer who crashed his police cruiser into a group of motorcylces stopped at an intersection while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, killing Eric Wells, somehow got moved from IMPD's property control room and stored in an unrefrigerated location. A subsequent investigation by the FBI determined that the mishandling of Bisard's blood alcohol evidence happened as a result of sloppy handling of evidence by IMPD and did not occur as a result of any criminal intent. Straub recruited Corcella, a former deputy prosecutor in St. Joseph and Marion Counties, to head up the professional standards division within the Department last January.

If you check out this video clip from last night's Public Safety Committee meeting during an exchange between Councilor Aaron Freeman and Ms. Corcella concerning the allocation of take-home vehicles, you will see her hold up the keys to her car and tell Councilor Freeman that she will turn over the keys to her car to the police chief before the close of the meeting if the council believes she shouldn't have a take-home car. Corcella, who was visibly miffed at Councilor Freeman for raising the issue of her having a take-home car, accused him of personalizing the issue. Freeman's point was to question why it is necessary to allocate a fleet of cars to various employees within the Public Safety Department when money is too tight to replace aging vehicles in IMPD's fleet. Chief Rick Hite responded that his concern was one that needed to be addressed within the Director of Public Safety's office. Corcella steps to the podium at approximately the 3:00 minute mark in the clip below to address the issue. Freeman's exchange on take-home cars revealed that approximately 60 cars within IMPD's budget are vehicles issued to persons other than sworn police officers, including the fleet of cars used by non-sworn employees within the Department of Public Safety.
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CircleCityScribe said...

Speaking of saving money, Ellen Corcella has no justifiable need for a city vehicle. She can drive to and from her office like the rest of us.

Oh, wait, she has a "make-work, do-nothing job." The City needs to eliminate her position post haste!

CircleCityScribe said...

Mayor Ballard:

The voters are angry! The taxpayers are angry about your neglect of public safety. The City County Council is listening to our plea. The budget hearing last night showed a clue of what's coming for your budget proposal.

We are angry about home invasions and a jeweler shot in his own home!

Perhaps you need to remember what it was like during "Council Wars!" Here is a video to remind you what we do...we show up at Council meetings and loudly petition our government for redress of our grievance that you have the smallest police department in modern history due to your neglect.

The budget has been mismanaged. You have not taken responsibility...and now have the audacity to propose that we lose more police from attrition without any new-hires on the horizon.

Mayor: The people are taking this into their own hands and rejecting your failed management of our city!

Please refresh your recollection of what got you elected and just how loud we can be with this video:

Gary R. Welsh said...

My sentiments exactly.

CircleCityScribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary R. Welsh said...

The wreck occcurred a couple of weeks ago before Wednesday night's hearing.