In just a few weeks Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub celebrates his first anniversary as Spokane's top cop. You hear his name often on KHQ Local News – but you would hear it even more if you lived in the nation's 13th largest city. KHQ's Center For Investigative team traveled to Indianapolis last summer to examine Straub's record there as Public Safety Director.
Now why a vial of blood taken thousands of miles away is creating a media firestorm in Indianapolis has plenty of people in Spokane concerned.
Right now pre-trial hearings are taking place in Allen Superior Court where suspended Indianapolis metro police officer David Bisard is accused of reckless homicide as the result of a 2010 on-duty crash.
The investigation was marred by a blood draw that the defense argues is not admissible in court, and then a second revelation this month when it was learned that one of the blood samples had been removed from a refrigerated area, raising questions about whether it could still be used as evidence.
Marion County, Indiana Prosecutor Terry Curry says "the property room notes reflect that it said ‘pre Frank Straub' at the time Straub denied that it was done at his direction."
Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub turned in his resignation in Indianapolis after more than a year of criticism over the handling of evidence in this case. In fact Straub announced his resignation as Public Safety Director ten days after the blood vial revelations in late April of 2012 but was allowed by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to serve another 90 days while his replacement was found.
An Indianapolis Sergeant Dawn Higgins of the Special Investigative Unit assigned under Straub testified they secretly recorded the Prosecutor twice in the spring of 2012, once on the phone and again in the conference room of the Marion County Prosecutors Office. Court records show this was after she examined the vial of blood against court order.
After the fatal crash there were debates about the Indianapolis Police Department investigating one of their own. There have been allegations of a cover up with Frank Straub at the helm. The FBI was called in to look into the issue.
And now a spiritual leader in Indianapolis is calling for an investigation into Straub. "I think that the Bisard case is a cancer that has taken its toll on this department and it could not be over soon enough," said Rev. Stephen Clay to our affiliate reporter at FOX59.
Clay said he would be joined by a handful of Baptist pastors in a meeting with Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry to ask for a special prosecutor to examine evidence and testimony about secret tapings, e-mail seizures and the disappearance of the Bisard internal affairs file in the spring of 2012.
Bisard 's attorney, John Kautzman, has filed a list with prosecutors naming Straub as potential witnesses in his attempt to prove that mishandling of his client's blood vial invalidates the evidence in the case.
Straub has refused comment on the courtroom revelations.
Straub, who was handpicked by Indianapolis Mayor Ballard to reorganize DPS and IMPD in December of 2009, refused previous attempts to make himself available for depositions in Indianapolis in three civil lawsuits filed by a trio of commanders who were demoted for their roles in the Bisard case.