IMPD and Carl Brizzi and Government & Economic Development and Public Safety and Government

IMPD suspends officer over golf cart incident

May 18, 2010

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has suspended and reassigned a supervisor on Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi's security detail who incorrectly reported that a fellow officer—and not Brizzi—was driving a golf cart that flipped at a 2008 political fundraiser.

An IMPD internal affairs investigation found that Brizzi was driving the cart that flipped on Oct. 10, 2008, injuring Detective Steven Buchanan, a member of Brizzi's security detail.

Sgt. Michael Thayer, the security detail supervisor who attended the golf outing while off-duty, filed reports showing Buchanan as the driver. IMPD said in a statement Tuesday that Thayer failed to correct the report a week later after he learned that Brizzi was driving the cart.

Thayer will be suspended for one day without pay and reassigned to an IMPD crime-reduction initiative. Meanwhile, IMPD officers assigned to Brizzi's security detail will no longer conduct grand jury or other investigations.

The inquiry into the golf cart incident, first reported on IBJ.com on Monday, began after the department received tips suggesting reports about the incident contained incorrect information.

Buchanan broke his wrist and bruised his knee after a golf cart carrying him and Brizzi flipped at the Ironwood Golf Club.

Police reports filed at the time says Buchanan was behind the wheel about 1 p.m. when "an unidentified white vehicle" backed out of a parking spot, causing him to swerve and flip the cart. The incident reports do 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."

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