INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - At least two of the demoted officers and one reassigned officer have hired lawyers.
Lieutenant George Crooks used to be the coordinator of the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team or FACT team. After police mishandled the Bisard investigation, the police chief and public safety director removed Crooks from coordinator of the FACT team.
Today, his lawyer hand delivered a letter of complaint to the mayor, police chief, and public safety director.
When David Bisard plowed into three motorcyclists late morning on August 6th, vital members of the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team and their leader, George Crooks didn't go to the scene. That's because Crooks had gotten a call from his superiors who told him he didn't need to go.
"At the end of the day, he's responsible for the fact team," said Public Safety Director Frank Straub.
So Straub and the chief stripped Crooks of his role as leader of the FACT team.
"Our client was told not to respond to the scene," said Ralph Staples, Crooks' lawyer. He argues that Crooks should not be reprimanded for following the orders of his supervisor. That supervisor was demoted for his actions on that day. Homeland Security Commander John Conley was one of three demoted to lieutenant. His base cut in pay was more than $25,000.
Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce was also demoted to lieutenant. His base pay was cut by more than $39,000. Both officers have hired the same attorney, Robert Turner.
In an interview with Director Straub, he said the demoted officers did not tell Chief Ciesielski about the gravity of the crash scene.
"It was bad decision making. It was a lack of leadership. It was a lack of determining who was in command at that crash scene and then taking command," said Straub.
We brought in Robert Turner, to view the interview with the director. He emphatically disputes the director's claim that he was not informed of the gravity of the accident. Turner says phone records prove that then assistant chief Darryl Pierce spoke with Chief Cisielski numerous times from the crash scene.
"He talked to Chief Cisielski no fewer than eight times in the span of one hour," said Robert Turner.
Attorney Robert Turner says phone records prove that Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce contacted his boss, Chief Ciesielski, eight times from 11:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. He says the chief was fully aware of the gravity of the Bisard crash and chose not to go to the scene.
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