Councilor Gibson charged in July nightclub incident - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Councilor Gibson charged in July nightclub incident

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Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

Marion County - A special prosecutor indicted City County Councilman Ron Gibson Wednesday. A Marion County Sheriff's Deputy says an intoxicated Gibson pushed her outside a downtown bar, but the deputies got in trouble for the same thing.

Gibson denies the allegations named in a three-count indictment handed down against him Wednesday morning. "All I have is my character and I am going to defend it with all I got," he said. "I unequivocally and categorically deny all those allegations. None of those things occurred."

A special prosecutor indicted Gibson on battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. The three misdemeanor charges stem from a confrontation during Black Expo outside a downtown Indianapolis bar, the Blu Lounge on South Meridian Street.

On July 16th, the bar manager called on Detective Jean Burkert for help when a crowd became unmanageable. Burkert responded in full uniform.

"I can tell you that I'm shocked by the news today, but I deny Deputy Jean Burkert's allegations and do not fear this act of desperation," Gibson said. He also said he was "disturbed by the malice aimed at me."

Burkert claims Gibson shouted at her once and pushed her twice before finally obeying her orders to leave. He claims she yelled at the crowd.

"I asked her why she was yelling. She continued to yell. I asked for her name and I left," Gibson said.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi asked for a special prosecutor to screen the case to avoid the appearance of political bias. "I think he dodged his prosecutoral responsibilities," Gibson.

Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson declined comment on the case. As Gibson fights the three misdemeanor charges, Sheriff Anderson is investigating Deputy Burkert. This isn't her first time. In a 2003 disciplinary letter to Sheriff Frank Anderson, Burkert received a three-day suspension for being "extremely intoxicated" and getting involved in a physical altercation with a coworker.

Brizzi reviewed the case but did not file charges. Now Anderson wants to know if Burkert followed policy. Deputies are not allowed to work at establishments that serve alcohol. Burkert claims she was only working nearby.

Meantime, during Gibson's court appearance, the judge recused herself to avoid the appearance of political bias.

Deputy Burkert declined our interview requests about this case. Since the judge recused herself from the case, Councilman Gibson will appear in another court in October.

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