Ira Guyton.| Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 13, 2013 6:44PM
GARY — Less than two years after he was hired, Patrolman Ira Guyton was fired from the Gary Police Department.
But he should have never been hired in the first place.
Guyton, 37, was convicted of two Class A misdemeanors long before he applied to join the police force. Indiana state law, Gary city ordinances and Gary Police Civil Service Commission rules all prohibit hiring anyone with a conviction for felonies or Class A misdemeanor crimes.
The commission met in a special session Thursday, when Chief Wade Ingram provided information about Guyton’s criminal record. After hearing the chief’s report, the board voted to terminate Guyton immediately. He has been on sick leave, but attended Thursday’s meeting and was ordered to return all his city equipment immediately, Ingram said.
In 1995, while attending Vincennes University, Guyton was convicted of criminal conversion in Knox Superior Court. Then in September 2000, he was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon in Cook County, Ill., Ingram said.
The investigation conducted before Guyton was hired revealed the history and Internal Affairs Division detectives recommended that he not be considered for a job.
But the group sworn in Aug. 3, 2011, was one of the most recent processed in the wake of a city ordinance change that allowed the chief to select anyone on the list, rather than starting with those who scored the highest on a battery of tests. The ordinance change was made in 2007 at the request of then Mayor Rudy Clay, at the urging of council members and residents, in an effort to include more Gary residents on the force. Sgt. Gary Carter’s last day as chief was Aug. 2, 2011.
Guyton graduated from Roosevelt High School. Several other officers hired since the ordinance change have been terminated, reprimanded or criminally charged since the Gary-first rule was implemented.
The commission is processing a new group of potential hires now. At its May meeting, the board scheduled dates to conduct oral interviews for candidates. Internal affairs officers will be present to review background check information before the interviews begin.