Straub confidence vote postponed

Dr. Frank Straub spoke at Tuesday's news conference.
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The future of the Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub is still on hold after the public safety committee postponed a confidence vote Wednesday night.

The committee heard six hours of testimony on March 28th including from Straub himself, but the meeting ended without a vote. On Wednesday, it was the same story: a long meeting, but ultimately no vote. The vote was postponed to mid-May.

Wednesday night's grilling was similar to a job review. There were few rules and a lot of people asking tough questions

"Why is it that everyone at IMPD is accountable for their actions except for you?" asked one council member.

It has been two and half years since Mayor Greg Ballard brought Straub on board as the Public Safety Director. From day one, Straub and the Fraternal Order of Police have been at odds. Now members of mayor's own party are starting to question Straub's leadership.

Earlier Wednesday, former members of IMPD and the Marion County Sheriff's Department spoke to reporters in response to Straub's charge that systematic corruption in the city's police department dates back decades.

"But I cannot be quiet any longer and today we have been in contact with eight or nine chiefs of police who all feel the same way we do. How dare somebody come to our city and in two years label all of us corrupt or ineffective as police officers?" said Jack Cottey, former Marion County sheriff.

The comments came in the wake of another misstep in a high profile fatal crash investigation involving IMPD Officer David Bisard. The mistake over mishandled evidence forced Chief Paul Ciesielski to resign his position, while two other officers allegedly involved have been placed administrative leave. The FBI has been called to figure out what happened.

"It is not an indictment," Straub said. "We have a system that needs to be reformed." Straub said he could point to problems over the past 37 years.

Straub has said he does not run the police or fire department - or any department. He says he holds their leaders accountable.

The committee postponed the vote until mid-May, saying they want to see results first.

Even if Straub gets a vote of no confidence, it's still up to Mayor Greg Ballard if he gets to keep his job.

Frank Straub is the highest paid employee in city government and makes an annual salary of $125,000. He has come under criticism for running into a huge budget shortfall in the first quarter of 2012 and also for the repeated bungling of evidence in the case involving Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard.

Tuesday, IMPD Chief Paul Ciesielski stepped down after it was revealed that a second vial of Bisard's blood had been improperly removed from refrigeration. Bisard is accused of driving drunk when he crashed his police cruiser into a group of motorcyclists in August 2010, killing one of them and critically injuring two others.