FOP Reaffirms Decision To Cover Bisard's Legal Fees

Union Votes Again To Support Embattled Officer

The Fraternal Order of Police reaffirmed an earlier decision to cover the legal fees for Officer David Bisard, who was charged after crashing into a group of motorcyclists in August 2009, killing one and seriously injuring two more.

The request for the union to pay Bisard’s legal fees passed in a December meeting, but some members’ concerns about that led to another vote Thursday night, 6News' Ericka Flye reported.

"There was a motion made to rescind the legal assistance that was last month granted to Officer Bisard,” said Bill Owensby, FOP president. “There was debate. There was a vote taken, and that motion did not pass, so Officer Bisard has retained legal assistance."

The Bisard case sparked months of outrage in the community. Police said Bisard was intoxicated and on duty when he struck the motorcyclists at a red light.

Alcohol-related charges against the officer were dropped because the way the blood draw was procured didn’t follow department policy, despite results that indicated the officer was more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Police union members voted nearly unanimously to cover Bisard's legal fees in the previous meeting.

"The legal bill of this lodge is paid for by the members. It's not paid for by any donations,” Owensby said. “It's paid for strictly by the dues the officers pay."

Bisard was at Thursday’s meeting, but Owensby declined to say if he answered questions or spoke at all. Owensby also declined to provide details of the vote or the amount of money involved in defending Bisard.

About 200 members out of 2,200 FOP members were at Thursday’s meeting. Only those in attendance had a vote. A simple majority vote was all that was needed.

Owensby said a law firm retained by the FOP will represent Bisard.