Indianapolis public safety chief leaving position

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A former New York police commissioner hired to clean up and modernize the Indianapolis Police Department submitted his resignation Friday following more than a year of criticism over investigators' mishandling of evidence in a fatal crash involving an officer.

Public Safety Director Frank Straub will remain in his position possibly until Aug. 1 during a search for his replacement, the mayor's office said.

Straub's resignation came 11 days after the city's police chief resigned amid revelations that the department mishandled a blood sample taken from Officer David Bisard following the August 2010 crash. Drunken driving charges against Bisard have been dismissed by a judge because of trouble with the blood tests.

In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Straub denied that there was any connection between his resignation and flak over his management of the police department.

"This is something in all honesty that I've been thinking about for a long while now," Straub said. "I think when you are hired to re-engineer an organization ... it's a challenging position to be in."

Mayor Greg Ballard hired Straub in 2009 to oversee the city's public safety agencies. Straub had been police commissioner of White Plains, N.Y., for seven years. Both Straub's resignation letter and the mayor's statement touted Straub's accomplishments, including lower homicide levels, improved training, integrated agency operations and increased diversity.

"Frank Straub came to Indianapolis facing the difficult task of updating and modernizing the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at the same time preparing for and successfully hosting the highest profile event in this city's history," Ballard said in a statement, referring to the 2012 Super Bowl. "It hasn't always been easy but meaningful reform seldom is."

In his resignation letter, Straub said he had been hired to "re-engineer" the police department and had largely succeeded, though he acknowledged there was still work to be done to address "systemic weaknesses" and restore public trust. He said his administration had overhauled the department's professional standards division — formerly known as internal affairs — and been "relentless" in pursuit of officers "who tarnish their badge."

In two years before Straub was hired, Indianapolis officers had been accused of trafficking drugs, arson, running a prostitution ring and taking bribes.

Since Straub's arrival, he has been dogged by trouble within the department, including claims of excessive force and the arrests of several officers on criminal charges. Straub has claimed the incidents came to light because he took a hard stand against corruption. He assailed what he described as a police culture that had tolerated bad behavior for decades.

Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President William Owensby has said he has never seen any signs of corruption within the department.

He released a statement saying the police union supported the mayor's announcement and was focused on budget issues that he said threatened the department's efforts at community policing.

The Bisard case proved to be a lightning rod for criticism throughout much of Straub's tenure.

An internal probe in 2011 concluded that the investigation had been botched and riddled with errors, but some critics suspected police were covering for one of their own.

The latest mistake happened in November, when prosecutors say police misplaced a vial of blood that prosecutors hoped could be used to show Bisard was drunk when he plowed into two motorcycles at a stoplight. Ballard said the blunder showed gross incompetence and possibly criminal intent.

Straub had recently faced a series of hearings before the city-county council's public safety committee as it considered whether to recommend renewing his contract. But Straub said he hadn't been concerned for his job.

"The mayor has been really clear that regardless of what city council vote was going to be, that I was going to stay if that was what I wanted to do," he said.

Straub said he was reviewing prospects for his next job.

"There's a bunch of possibilities out there," he said. "Now it's at a point of picking the right job in the right place."


  • The Mayor should be next
    and I know ppl aren't buying this story that he resigned on his own without having another job... lol I think the Mayor should resign for trying to sell garbage like that to the public.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help