Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ballard Administration Retaliates Against IMPD District Commander

IMPD Major Chris Boomershine was first reassigned from IMPD's investigations division into the southeast district commander position following an unprovoked verbal confrontation in Benjamin's office with an Indiana State Police Detective Wayne Billings during which Boomershine intervened to help restrain Billings. Without identifying himself, Billings had barged into Benjamin's office and accused him of interfering in a romantic relationship he had with a woman. An Indiana State Police internal affairs investigation resulted in Billings being disciplined for his role in the matter, but Billings filed a lawsuit against the two officers and IMPD for false imprisonment and assault and battery. Both Boomershine and Benjamin have filed counter suits against Billings.

Recently, Boomershine and Benjamin both complained that an internal affairs investigator, Lt. Scott Hessong, had defamed them in the presence of another top-ranking officer in the professional standards bureau of IMPD by accusing them of being dirty cops. Today, Boomershine was removed as the southeast district commander by Chief Paul Ciesielski, a move believed to be in retaliation for complaining about Hessong's accusations. As Fox 59 News' Russ McQuaid reports, the demotion comes just days after Ballard's rebuke by the FOP, which overwhelmingly endorsed his Democratic opponent, Melina Kennedy in a vote of the police members. The FOP overwhelmingly supported Ballard over incumbent Mayor Bart Peterson four years ago, but the police union has subsequently turned against Ballard, due in large part to his controversial appointment of Frank Straub as Public Safety Director, who has frequently butted heads with IMPD's leadership and effectively neutered Chief Ciesielski's control over the Department. The Ballard administration was also reportedly angered that a number of police officers under Boomershine's command are openly supporting Kennedy's campaign.

Interestingly, Boomershine worked investigations under Benjamin following the reassignment and later resignation of Major Lincoln Plowman after an FBI sting operation charged him with attemption extortion and soliciting a bribe from an undercover FBI agent posing as a strip club developer. Ballard stunned IMPD's rank and file when he named Plowman to the high-ranking position in investigations during an early reorganization of the Department after the council gave him control of IMPD, which had previously been given to Marion Co. Sheriff Frank Anderson during a merger of the two police agencies in 2005. Critics believed Ballard was merely currying favor with Plowman because he also served in a leadership position on the Indianapolis City-County Council. Plowman's criminal trial in the federal district court for the Southern District of Indiana began today after the jury was selected and opening statements were delivered.


Concerned Taxpayer said...

You reap what you sow.

CircleCityScribe said...

-The way those IMPD command positions change with the wind, I'm surprised anyone would accept such a position if offered.

CircleCityScribe said...

Of course, by all news reports it appears there is no real "district commander" at IMPD, the position is just a figurehead. Frank Straub personally runs it all.