Monday, May 17, 2010

Brizzi Golf Cart Accident Under Investigation

Well, the stories of Marion Co. Prosecutor's antics during a 2008 golf outing to raise money for his campaign committee have been quite the talk through the rumor mill for the past couple of years, and it looks like IMPD will finally investigate what transpired, even though one of its officers assigned to Brizzi wound up with a broken wrist and an injured knee after the golf cart in which the two were riding overturned. Rumor had it that Brizzi, who had taken a few drinks by that time, was driving the golf cart but urged the officer to indicate otherwise in the report. The IBJ's Cory Schouten writes in an online story today:

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding an officer's injury at a 2008 fundraiser for Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

Detective Steven Buchanan, a member of Brizzi's security detail, wound up with a broken wrist and bruised knee after a golf cart carrying him and Brizzi flipped at the Ironwood Golf Club on Oct. 10, 2008.

A police report filed at the time says Buchanan was behind the wheel at around 1 p.m. when "an unidentified white vehicle" backed out of a parking spot, causing him to swerve and flip the cart.

IMPD's internal affairs unit opened an investigation this month into whether the report accurately describes what happened that Friday afternoon after receiving tips suggesting it does not, said Public Safety Director Frank Straub. The key question is whether Brizzi was driving the cart when it flipped, and if so, why the report says otherwise.

The incident report—filed by Sgt. Michael Thayer, another member of Brizzi's security detail—does not mention Brizzi.

The Republican prosecutor that day was hosting his fifth-annual "Putt with the Prosecutor" golf outing, which started at 8:30 a.m. and featured "St. Elmo shrimp cocktail on course" and a "Ruth's Chris Beverage Station," according to the event invitation. The outing at 10955 Fall Road in Fishers cost $250 per person.

Brizzi did not respond to requests for comment. Neither Buchanan nor Thayer could be reached.
The timing of this investigation is quite interesting. Nobody at IMPD cared about this story that everyone else in the deparment seemed to know about for the past two years until now that Brizzi has become mired in an FBI investigation into whether his office sold lenient plea deals to his business partner's clients. Suddenly, some Republican leaders had a conversion on the road to Damascus and want Brizzi gone now. While they're investigating this incident, will IMPD also investigate the wrecked Viper car belonging to Tim Durham that Brizzi also was reportedly not driving at the time it was crashed?

UPDATE: It seems Brizzi is now fessing up to being the driver of the golf cart that overturned according to the Star. Asked who was driving during a phone interview last week, Brizzi told The Star: “With catlike reflexes, we avoided getting hit by a car in a parking lot.” “I was driving the cart.”

It also appears overtime pay for the officers charged with protecting Brizzi has cost taxpayers over $100,000 during a period of less than two years according to Schouten. IMPD has moved to reduce the number of overtime hours they are allowed to work and is closely reviewing overtime hours reported. With that much in overtime pay between them, those two officers could have easily earned more than $100,000 a year. Fox 59 News' Russ McQuaid is taking a closer look at that issue tonight at 10:00 p.m. Here are some of the details McQuaid offers on what that overtime pay is covering:

March 3, 2009: nine hours overtime to escort Brizzi to his own birthday bash fundraiser at St. Elmo's where he traditionally raised $125,000 for his re-election campaign.

66.5 hours between five detectives last May on race weekend, including three officers -- one of them until 3:30 am -- one night at Tim Durham's house for the Brizzi 500, another fundraiser.

Eight hours until midnight on St. Patrick's Day 2009.

Fifteen hours this year on the day after St. Patrick's Day.

The 500 party on race weekend must be the one where Durham hired Hollywood boy toy Jesse Metcalfe to appear for his standard, large booking fee for such appearances and pretend that he was his friend. Kato Kaelin of O.J. Simpson trial infamy, one of Brizzi's best friends, was there as well.

UPDATE II: Officer Sgt. Mike Thayer has been suspended without pay for one day by IMPD for omitting Brizzi's role in overturning the golf cart and reassigned. He was supervising Officer Steven Buchanan at the time of the incident when Buchanan suffered injuries as a result of the overturned golf cart.


Jon said...

So now Carl, per the Star & Jon Murray, says wait a minute I was driving the golf cart! Which immediately begs the question what else isn't true Carl?

varangianguard said...

Isn't there some penalty for filing a false police report?

Southsider said...

'V' yes. And the taxpayer's paid the officers salary while at a GOP ( grand ole party)?

I know said...

You haven't even scratched the surface.....the cover ups go very very deep!!!!

Indy4U2C said...

Indiana considers driving a golf cart drunk the same as Driving While Intoxicated! Why wasn't Brizzi tested and arrested? The law was broken.

IC 9-30-5-2
Class A misdemeanor
Sec. 2. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a person who operates a vehicle while intoxicated commits a Class C misdemeanor.
(b) An offense described in subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor if the person operates a vehicle in a manner that endangers a person.

9-13-2-196 (e) For purposes of IC 9-30-5 (Drunk Driving), IC 9-30-6, IC 9-30-8, and IC 9-30-9, the term means A DEVICE USED FOR TRANSPORTATION BY LAND OR AIR. The term does not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.

Barnard said...

Didn't the security officer get paid until 8pm that evening? Wasn't he in the hospital for his injuries and then sent home? Tip of the iceberg on ghost employment maybe?

Marycatherine Barton said...

Push all they want, I still do not think there is much of a chance that Carl will resign.

Indy4U2C said...

THE DOUBLE STANDARD: Corrupt Carl fires his P. R. man for DWI, but ignores his own....oops, he's The Prosecutor. One would not expect him to prosecute himself, would they?

Blog Admin said...

Manually reviewing the overtime submitted is a good first step, but it'll be a drop in the bucket until IMPD forms an actual policy on police overtime.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Agreed. IMPD officers have been raping the taxpayers for years with unwarranted overtime pay, in addition to their use of our police cars, equipment and uniforms to make money on the side from private security work that often conflicts with their jobs with IMPD. A retired Star reporter told me that our police department was by far on of the most corrupt in the country, and I don't think he is too far off the mark. Straub had no idea what he was getting into when he accepted the job as public safety director.

Downtown Indy said...

Every school day 3, count 'em 3, IMPD or MCSD officers are on traffic detail at Roncalli and St Jude schools. They hold cross traffic while the school lots empty out every last car.

I've often wondered what the arrangements are for that?

I have learned to NOT pass through that area at 3-3:30pm. Even if you don't get stuck at the school, they load up the roads with cars and it takes quite a while to get pas the first set of 4-way stop signs in any direction.

They use their IMPD vehicles with lights flashing to halt traffic.

I know said...

God help us all if the Marion County Grand Jury investigators have filed a false police report to cover up for Carl Brizzi.

Everyone of the investigations done by these IPD officers assigned the Grand Jury will be appealed, drug out in the public and the system will be in shambles for years.

The cover ups the office of Prosecutor have done for wealthy people and state and local officials will also become more than rumor and many people with aspirations of wealth or political gain will be going to JAIL!

Isn't about time the other Lawyers in Indianapolis who have participated in the slime, corruption and Marion County good old boys club start to come clean with the hundreds of millions of dollars of cover ups before they too come under scrutiny?

Some of us little people know who you are and your beating us down will soon come to and end.

I just wish I could be a fly on the wall when the ladies and gentlemen in the black suits come knocking on your doors. You all deserve the VIP visit and the treatment you have wrongly inflicted on good and decent people.

Sleep well those who have their hands in the cookie jar. The knock on the door will come. I just hope it is life changing for you after those of us you have destroyed along the way!!!!

Pleasant dreams!!!!!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Police are corrupt. Coroner's Office is completely incompetent and corrupt. Prosecutor's office is the most corrupt in the nation. There should be plenty of sunny days ahead for criminals in Marion County.

Bill said...

I am having a hard time believeing that Brizzi was at the wheel of the golf cart.

That is unless his driver brought him a pillow to sit on so he could see over the steering wheel