Two Gary cops intend to sue city over chief’s comments about them
By Lori Caldwell email@example.com | 648-3258 October 11, 2012 4:02PM
Updated: November 13, 2012 6:26AM
GARY — Accusing police Chief Wade Ingram of making false “slanderous and defamatory” remarks about them, two veteran Gary officers intend to sue the city.
Lt. Roger Smith of Valparaiso and Sgt. Anthony Stanley of Gary, who joined the force in March 1985, each seek $700,000 in damages.
In a notice to claim dated Aug. 30 but not received by the city until last week, Smith and Stanley make identical claims regarding a June 12 article in the Post-Tribune.
“He knows he lied. He should be held accountable. I can never trust him,” Smith said Thursday.
The story focused on annual Crisis Intervention Team training sponsored by the Gary Police Department. No Gary officers attended the weeklong class.
Ingram said he was unaware of the pending classes and blamed Smith and Stanley, both assigned to the training division. Ingram said he would transfer them to other assignments “for greater accountability.”
A day after the story appeared, Ingram rescinded his transfer orders and said he changed his mind after learning more.
The notice of claim states Ingram did know about the training and made the decision to keep 16 rookies out of the class.
Administrators were in a hurry to get the rookies on the street to boost the number of officers responding to calls in the typically busy summer months.
“Rather than accept responsibility, Ingram blamed the training division ... to deflect blame from himself and by doing so did cause irreparable harm,” the claim states.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the City Council are named as defendants.
City spokeswoman Chelsea Whittington confirmed the city received the notification, but would not comment on pending litigation.
Smith and Stanley can proceed with a civil lawsuit against the city if no settlement is reached within 180 days.
Smith said he also filed a complaint against Ingram with the FBI.
“I would like a public apology,” Smith said.