Indiana News

Council Expected to Again Put Off Decision on Bisard Probe

Committee chairman fears interfering with separate FBI investigation of crash

9/28/2010

The City-County Council is again putting off discussion of a possible council investigation of an IMPD officer's controversial crash.

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Earlier this month, Democrats' proposal for a bipartisan panel to look into the handling of David Bisard's crash was sent to the council's Rules and Public Policy Committee. Chairman Robert Lutz (R) says he has the same concern GOP council leaders voiced earlier about interfering with a separate FBI investigation.

Lutz says he may take a second look in a month or two, but says the committee has major issues to deal with already, including pieces of the new city budget and Mayor Greg Ballard's proposal to privatize the city's parking meters.

Bisard is awaiting trial for reckless homicide in a crash which killed motorcyclist Eric Wells. Prosecutors dropped drunken-driving charges after announcing accident investigators hadn't followed proper procedure in drawing a sample of Bisard's blood.

Democrats, led by Councillor Brian Mahern, have argued a council investigation offers the best hope for quick answers to why the on-scene investigation was botched and whether IMPD leaders or public safety director Frank Straub could have handled the situation better. Mahern has maintained the FBI's investigation of possible criminal conduct shouldn't conflict with a review of administrative actions.

Lutz says he doesn't necessarily oppose a council inquiry, but says there's no way to tell where the FBI's probe has led it. He says even a review of administrative actions could end up colliding with the FBI investigation.

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