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Indianapolis Bar Association asks Indiana State Police superintendent to keep criticism private

Indiana State Superintendent gets criticism

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter’s criticism of the state’s bond system is getting people talking. The Indianapolis Bar association would like to have those conversations not in public, but in private.  

“I don’t think it is unusual for a law enforcement officer to be critical. I think it doesn’t help the situation,” said Indianapolis attorney Jim Voyles on behalf of the Indianapolis Bar Association.

Voyles told I-Team 8’s Richard Essex there is a forum in Marion County called the Criminal Justice Planning Commission to address issues like those brought up by Superintendent Carter.   

“If you look at what Carter said, he obviously wants to have a dialogue about something. I don’t think the press is the place for that until we can get together and figure out what his total complaints are and how we can react to those, and are they good complaints. We are no different on the bond issue than 91 other counties. These are not just Marion County problems,” said Voyles.

Superintendent Carter publicly expressed his anger after a Marion County judge gave Luis Leyba-Gonzalez a $1000 cash bond and a $50,000 surety bond for his actions in a high speed crash that killed three people. Carter went so far as to call the judge, which he has since apologized for, and has walked back some of his criticism. I-Team 8’s Richard Essex contacted the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Office of Judicial Administration about Superintendent Carter’s criticism of the bond system and they sent the following statement:

“All superior courts (including those in Marion County) are created by statute. The General Assembly has the authority to review and change those statutes as needed. Judges are bound by rules and cannot speak about the merits of a specific case. Systemically, judges welcome feedback and collaboration from all stakeholders to operate a system built on fairness and public safety.” 

On Friday, Republican Mayoral candidate Jefferson Shreve told I-Team 8’s Richard Essex he supports Superintendent Carter’s comments 

“I simply opine in vigorous agreement with Superintendent Carter on his view that this system isn’t working, and it needs to be open, transparent, and under the scrutiny of the citizens-voters of Marion County.”  

Superintendent Carter’s comments were part of the latest Mayoral debate. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett didn’t address the comments directly, but said he has used the mayor’s office to address the criminal justice system in Indianapolis  

“I have used the leadership role of the mayor’s office to support gun safety regulation. I have used the bully pulpit of the mayor’s office to hold people accountable” said Hogsett during a recent exchange between the candidates.   

Superintendent Carter directly criticized Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office told I-Team 8’s Richard Essex they have no comment. 

The Indianapolis Bar Association sent the following statement:

“The Indianapolis Bar Association has learned of continued public statements made by Mr. Doug Carter, Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, regarding the case of Luis Leyba-Gonzalez, and publicly calling for an overhaul of the Marion County criminal justice system.

These continued criticisms unfairly single out the Marion County judicial system for following
processes and procedures which were adopted in accordance with all applicable State and local
laws. These processes and procedures, in particular the bonding guidelines at issue, mimic the
processes adopted by other counties throughout Indiana.

The public criticism of the Judges, Judicial Officers, and other members of the Marion County
judicial system who satisfied their sworn oath of office in administering the statutorily
established guidelines is simply not productive. We believe a more constructive discussion on
the issues and concerns raised by Superintendent Carter would be better facilitated through the
channels already established, such as the Marion County Criminal Justice Planning Council (the
CJPC), which formed to “Identify the needs and problems of the [criminal justice community] to
suggest answers and help find solutions to those needs and problems.”