City returns gun, badge taken from Hobart cop
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent January 25, 2013 9:34PM
Updated: February 28, 2013 6:58AM
HOBART — Patrolman Kirk Homoky, who has been assigned to desk duty while an internal investigation continues, received his weapon and badge back Friday afternoon, his attorney said.
Homoky’s attorney, Christopher Cooper, said Homoky received both items around 3 p.m. per the order of acting Police Chief Vance Thompson.
Cooper said this action was taken hours after he sent an ultimatum through former Police Chief Jeffrey White’s attorney, Dan Whitten, stating he would file court papers seeking to have Homoky returned to active duty if the city didn’t take any action on its own by 5 p.m. Friday.
Cooper said he sent the email about 7:30 a.m. Friday.
“I absolutely believe my threat resulted in Homoky retrieving his badge and weapon,” said Cooper, a civil rights attorney with offices in Chicago and Merrillville.
Neither Thompson, Whitten nor Mayor Brian Snedecor returned repeated phone calls on Friday seeking comment.
Homoky said he feels good following Thompson’s action, but “would feel a lot better when I’m on the street and get my squad car back.”
It is still not known whether the investigation of Homoky has been completed or why he is being investigated. City officials said it does not involve a criminal matter.
Cooper said he was told by the city that the investigation was completed about 10 days ago. However, City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said it is not always predictable when investigations like this one will be over as something could turn up to change its course.
“Beyond that, I have no comment,” DeBonis said when also asked earlier in the day about Cooper’s threatened court action.
Cooper also said he received answers to his lawsuits against White and Detectives Jeremy Ogden and Garrett Cisezweski, which he said indicates to him that the city believes the lawsuits have merit.
“If they felt the lawsuits didn’t have merit, they would have filed a motion to dismiss,” Cooper said.
The lawsuits charge the police officers with misusing their police authority to prosecute Homoky for vindictive and personal reasons.
Homoky was initially placed on paid administrative leave in November after insubordination charges were leveled against him by White. White, who has since resigned as top cop, told the Board of Public Works and Safety that Homoky refused to take a lie detector test as part of the internal investigation. White wanted to terminate Homoky.
Cooper has maintained that Homoky did not refuse to take the test, he just refused to sign a document saying he was taking it voluntarily.
The insubordination charges were dismissed by the board last month upon Whitten’s recommendation. Whitten said he would focus on the internal investigation of Homoky instead.
Homoky was assigned to desk duty by White, who also took away his badge and weapon.
Homoky’s father and sister attended the last Board of Works meeting on Jan. 16 and asked why he was behind a desk instead of patrolling the streets.