Updated: Thursday, 30 Jul 2009, 6:42 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 30 Jul 2009, 6:42 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Mayor Greg Ballard will soon have to find a replacement for the director of public safety.
The current director, Scott Newman, steps down from the position Friday. Newman made the announcement last week, stating health as the reason.
Newman said he has other plans as he lives with Parkinson's Disease.
"I really thought in terms of a two-year commitment to Mayor Ballard and we laid a good foundation,” Newman said. “There's a lot of long-term things that need to happen from here on out."
But after Friday, Newman will shift his focus from public safety to his personal health. He founded a non-profit organization called Rock Steady Boxing, which offers programs for people with Parkinson's.
Newman said, "I was unable to write my name and I was unable to type. I can do all those things now, and really couldn't be public safety director if it wasn't for this program."
He's held other city positions, including two terms as Marion County prosecutor.
"It is a job that is 24/7,” Newman said of the public safety position. “It has such a wide responsibility. It really didn't leave much left for me to do other things. [Parkinson's] causes you to focus on the things that you want to still do while you still have the capacity."
Newman said, "I felt very valued and supported. I really think it has helped stave off the progression of my illness. Just feeling like I have not been thrown on the ash heap, but that I'm still contributing and I intend to continue to do so."
In the meantime, he has planned a month-long vacation.
Newman will be on the committee to help Mayor Ballard find his replacement.
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