Officers Demoted In Bisard Crash Sue For Defamation

Three high-ranking IMPD officers, who were singled out by IMPD Chief Paul Ciesieslski and Public Safety Director Frank Straub for mishandling the investigation of Officer David Bisard high-speed crash that left one motorcyclist dead and two others seriously injured, are suing the City of Indianapolis for defamation. The officers claim they were subject to untrue defamatory statements about their performance made by Ciesielski and Straub following the investigation and unfairly demoted from their appointed positions within the department. Darryl Pierce, Ron Hicks and John Conley are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Fox 59 News' Russ McQuaid interviewed Pierce about the officers' lawsuit:

"We were thrown under the bus," said Pierce in an exclusive interview with Fox59 news on the eve of the lawsuit's filing. "I just think that the opportunity was seized to remove us from the positions just to take some of the heat off the department and themselves."
Pierce makes it clear he's referring to Mayor Greg Ballard, Police Chief Paul Ciesielski and Public Safety Director Frank Straub. Ciesielski and Straub are specifically mentioned in the lawsuit for their comments about the trio of commanders and their roles in the subsequent demotions.
"If they would've waited until the investigations were over, if they were men, if they would've stood up and said, 'Our people didn't do anything wrong,'" said Pierce. "If they were true leaders they should've stood up for us."
The lawsuit claims the commanders have never been officially informed of any rules violations that led to their demotions yet cites public comments by Straub and Ciesielski that the litigation claims are, "false and defamatory."
Pierce said he would accept an apology, back wages and reappointment to his previous position. Pierce said he is looking forward to the release in court filings of internal investigations that were undertaken, but never revealed, which he thinks will absolve the commanders of any dereliction of duty.
"Once those investigations are given to the public and they've been completed forever, but nobody has ever seen them, and I would have to question, 'Why?'"