Relatives want to know why patrolman still is on desk duty
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent January 20, 2013 9:28PM
Updated: February 22, 2013 6:23AM
HOBART — Relatives of Patrolman Kirk Homoky want to know why he is still sitting behind a desk instead of on the streets when the police chief who put him there is no longer chief.
“I want to know why my tax dollars are going to have my brother scrub toilets. Will Patrolman Homoky be back on the streets,” his sister, Megan German, asked members of the Board of Works and Public Safety last week.
Mayor Brian Snedecor and City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said they couldn’t discuss the matter because Homoky is still under internal investigation and because he has filed a tort claim against the Board of Works, former Police Chief Jeff White and some police officers.
No one has revealed why Homoky is under investigation, but officials confirmed it is not for a criminal matter.
White resigned as police chief last week under a mutual agreement with Snedecor. White’s deputy chief, Vance Thompson, was named interim chief Wednesday night as Snedecor begins the search for a new top cop, looking both inside and outside the department.
Homoky was initially placed on paid administrative leave in November after insubordination charges were leveled against him by White. White told the Board of Works that Homoky refused to take a lie detector test as part of an internal investigation. White wanted to terminate Homoky.
The insubordination charges were dismissed by the board last month upon the recommendation of White’s attorney, Dan Whitten. Whitten said he would focus on the internal investigation of Homoky instead. Homoky returned to desk duty, as assigned by White.
Homoky’s father, Ronald Homoky, asked whether the mayor has the authority to overrule the police chief and put Homoky back on the streets, especially since White is no longer the chief.
“Aren’t you worried about public safety when you have someone sitting behind a desk rather than on the street, when you have a police officer who is not allowed to wear a badge or carry his sidearm,” Ronald Homoky asked.
DeBonis said the chief of police has the authority to assign officers, not the mayor.
DeBonis said he didn’t know the status of the internal investigation of Homoky.
“It may be complete, but there has been no report issued yet. Stay tuned,” DeBonis said.
Homoky’s attorney, Christopher Cooper, who has law offices in Merrillville and Chicago, said he also is waiting to hear from Whitten about the investigation. He said he had just received an email from Whitten, but hasn’t spoken to the other attorney.
Cooper stressed that Homoky didn’t refuse to take a lie detector test, he refused to sign off that he was taking it voluntarily.
Cooper said he is in the initial stages of the tort claim.