Former investigator in David Bisard case plans to sue city
The former chief in charge of internal investigations and professional standards in the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety plans to sue the city over her firing. Ellen Corcella is a key figure in the investigation of David Bisard and the mishandling of blood evidence.
Now, in a tort claim, she says city leaders prevented her from doing her job and ignored reports of serious wrongdoing by police officers.
Then-Director of Public Safety Frank Straub hired Corcella in January 2012. She was fired in March and filed a tort claim with the city September 11. The claim serves as a notice that she intends to file a lawsuit.
In the claim, Corcella says top officials interfered with her ability to investigate how a vial of Bisard's blood came to be stored without refrigeration. The notice says Prosecutor Terry Curry and Ryan Vaughn, then the Mayor's Chief of Staff, "injected themselves into Claimant's 'independent' investigation."
The claim also says Curry demanded the mayor remove her from the case and publically made defamatory statements about her.
Curry's letter to Ballard demanded that he fire Corcella and Bisard, after she examined the vials without telling the prosecutor's office.
Corcella also says the Indianapolis Metro Police Department failed to discipline officers after she "uncovered and reported a multitude of abuses." Specifically she says reported incidents of officers using a stun gun to strike citizens in the back, referring to women with vulgar language, engaging in sexual harassment and showing pornography to subordinates.
Corcella also claims she reported officers running private businesses while on duty and using tax dollars to do so. She claims officers used police resources to find prostitutes who had been arrested in order to solicit sex.
Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis Samantha DeWester said it is the city's policy not to comment on pending legal action.
Corcella is asking for lost wages and benefits and payment for "mental anguish" and "emotional distress" as well as attorneys fees.