Police investigate councilman confrontation allegation

Published: .
Updated: .

Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

An investigation is underway involving confrontation between a deputy and a city-county councilman. It happened during the Indiana Black Expo as councilman Ron Gibson tried to use his VIP Status at an exclusive nightclub.

"My name was on the VIP list at Club Blu," Gibson said.

Councilman Ron Gibson made the VIP list at The Blu Lounge, located on South Merdian Street near Union Station. The owners reserve the VIP room for special guests, but on July 16th, Gibson and his two friends tried to get in among a huge crowd.

"Out of nowhere, this deputy, white female in uniform, comes up and starts yelling, 'You need to move back and move back now'," Gibson said.

Deputy Jean Burkert claims Gibson had slurred speech and even put his hand on her.

"She stated that he was intoxicated," said Captain Phil Burton of the Marion County Sheriff's Department, "and that he actually shoved her a couple of times."

"I did drink that night," Gibson said, "But it was within a seven-hour span."

Gibson insists he never touched Deputy Burkert and calmly addressed her.

"I said, 'I am city councilman Ron Gibson, and I would never talk to people like that and yet alone my boss.' She said, 'You are not my boss. Frank Anderson is my boss'," Gibson said.

In February 2003, Sheriff Anderson suspended Deputy Jean Burkert three days after a domestic disturbance incident. In 1999, Burkert received a one day suspension while working as a correction officer.

Since the stories are so different about what happened outside The Blu Lounge, investigators hope to get to the bottom of it. The prosecutor's office is also involved. Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says his office is working with law enforcement regarding the allegations against Ron Gibson. The investigation is ongoing.

"I was totally sober," Gibson said. "I was in my right mind. I was respectful towards her. I never raised my voice."

Marion County deputies are not allowed to work for bars and establishments that serve alcohol. Sheriff Frank Anderson is investigating Deputy Burkert's part-time work orders.