City Readies Release Of Bisard Crash Probe

Details To Be Made Public Wednesday

City leaders are expected to release the results of an internal affairs investigation into the fatal crash involving Officer David Bisard on Wednesday.

Sources who have seen the document told 6News' Jack Rinehart that investigators found no evidence of a cover-up concerning the Aug. 6 crash.

Police said Bisard was drunk on duty when he plowed into a group of motorcyclists stopped at a red light, killing one and severely injuring two others.

The police department's investigation into the incident quotes fellow officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel and the doctor who examined Bisard. All said they did not suspect that the officer had been drinking, sources said.

Sources also said that an FBI report on the incident shows that agents called into the investigation by Public Safety Director Frank Straub questioned why police treated the incident as an accident scene, rather than a crime scene.

Both the FBI and the internal investigation report, sources said, found no fault with the handling of the incident by three deputy chiefs who responded to the scene and were demoted in the aftermath of the investigation -- Lt. Darryl Pierce, a former assistant chief, Lt. John Conley, a former commander, and Lt. Ron Hicks, a former deputy chief of operations.

All three responded to the crash. Pierce's phone records show eight phone calls between Pierce and Police Chief Paul Ciesielski during a 71-minute period after the crash, said his attorney, Robert Turner.

"I know what my client did. He went to the scene like he was supposed to," Turner said of Pierce. "He talked to the chief. He talked to the chief eight times and was ordered by the chief to return to the office, and he did."

Turner provided an e-mail sent from Ciesielski the same day of the crash referring to a meeting for all command staff, which Turner said was about the image of Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub's relationship with the Police Department.

Pierce and Hicks left the scene to attend the 1 p.m. meeting, Turner said, while Conley stayed there.

Turner, himself a former public safety director, said he hopes the investigation will clear his clients of any wrongdoing.

"He was there to lend support and to be in a position to fully advise the chief what was happening, and that's what he did," he said. "I believe the investigation could have been handled better."

The FBI report has been forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice. It's unclear if its findings will ever be made public.

Alcohol-related charges against Bisard were dropped after it was determined that a blood draw, which showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent two hours after the crash, was obtained illegally.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has filed to reintroduce the flawed blood alcohol test to support a charge of reckless homicide against Bisard.

Bruce Kehoe, attorney for Kurt Weekly, one of the victims of the crash, said the conclusions of the internal report are insignificant.

"I'd rather draw my own conclusions. It's the transcript of the interviews. It's the transcript of the radio transmissions. It's the information that's important," Kehoe said. "Conclusions are in the eye of the beholder."

Kehoe said he thinks that the report will be damning to the department, either way.

"Either it's a comedy of errors and an incompetent investigation, or it's something worse -- it's a cover-up," he said. "Had it been a member of the public at large, it would have been treated as a crime."

Crash victim Mary Mills expressed her disbelief with the results of the internal investigation on her Facebook page.

"I always hoped that truth would prevail, but I guess that was just a dream, to go along with the nightmare I'm living," she wrote.

Eric Wells was killed in the crash. Weekly and Mills were injured. Weekly was recently released from a rehabilitation hospital.