Gary cop had three full-time jobs, including at county jail
Post-Tribune staff report April 2, 2013 11:12AM
Jennifer Powell during a Gary Police officer swearing in ceremony In August 2002. | file photo~Post-Tribune
Updated: May 4, 2013 6:15AM
GARY — An investigation into Gary Detective Jennifer Powell’s busy work schedule already has cost her one job, and she is expected to be charged criminally soon.
On March 21, just days before her one-year probation would end at the Lake County Jail, Powell was escorted from the building and informed of her termination.
Powell, hired on the Gary force in 2002, began working the midnight shift at the Lake County Jail on March 26, 2012, Sheriff John Buncich said.
Buncich said her termination came as his department cooperated in an investigation by Gary and Indiana State Police, examining ghost payrolling.
The state police completed its investigation into allegations she was working three full-time jobs — at Gary, at the jail, and as a security guard for a Miller trucking firm — months ago.
A Lake County deputy prosecutor is reviewing the case and charges are expected to be filed soon, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Barb McConnell said Tuesday.
Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram said Tuesday he was unaware of the status of the case.
“I haven’t heard anything official, other than rumors,” Ingram said.
“If it turns out to be true, I would seek some disciplinary action or termination,” he added.
Powell is assigned to the day shift in the detective bureau, working sex cases. She was working midnights at the jail and the security job, although many of the hours recorded at the trucking company were worked by fellow officers. Powell coordinated their schedules and distributed checks from the money paid to her because she held the contract with the firm.
During his investigation, Buncich said it appeared that Powell falsified information on her application, adding to the grounds for her dismissal. One apparent lie related to her previous employment at a state correctional facility.
Powell is represented by attorney Scott King, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.