Council members react to independent investigation into Tim Corbett
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A new investigation is now in the works and it revolves around someone accused of being on the tape recordings that lead to a federal investigation into the South Bend Police Department.
Two weeks ago ABC 57 news was the first to report that South Bend Corporal Jack Stilp filed a complaint against the commander of the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide, Tim Corbett.
At first, the prosecutor's office said it would be looking into the alleged threats as an internal personnel matter. However, on Thursday prosecuting attorney Michael Dvorak said he is now handing it over to a third-party investigator.
The decision comes just one week after South Bend Common Council members pushed for an independent investigation.
"I'm glad that the prosecutor Dvorak is following through with this alleged office and with what the community is asking him to do," said councilman Henry Davis, Jr.
A statement released by the prosecutor's office said a written letter received from Tim Corbett prompted Dvorak to recommend to the Metro Homicide board of directors that an independent investigator complete a confidential investigation into the alleged threats.
A nonpartisan inquiry is something councilman Tim Scott has been pushing for since another police officer came forward alleging Corbett had made similar threats to him.
"I think it helps protect Mr. Dvorak and his office if someone independent would come in and look at those allegations because those are pretty serious," said Scott.
"When you have a situation where you have an employee that works directly with the person that is suppose to be investigating them, clearly you are going to have a conflict of interest based on the working relationship," agreed Davis.
City leaders are also concerned about the results of the investigation. The results may not be revealed even if the board chooses to take action, but Davis says this investigation is important to restoring the integrity of the police department.
"The community doesn't feel like the integrity is at an optimal level and as a representative I have to make sure we are doing everything possible to encourage and make sure citizens are seeing their government work for them like they are suppose to," said Davis.
Right now both the prosecutor and the board say they have not received any reports this is a criminal matter.
ABC 57 also reached out to interim South Bend Police Chief Chuck Hurley for comment, but he declined. Hurley said he did not have anything to say because Corbett is not his employee.