Councilman Tim Scott receives second Corbett threat complaint
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Less than a week after South Bend Police Corporal Jack Stilp expressed feelings of being threatened, another officer at the department has contacted a Common Councilmember because they are afraid to say anything at work.
The officer, whom Scott did not name, did not want to be put through what Stilp has gone through since filing the Officer’s Report nearly three weeks ago.
Stilp filed the report on May 11. When we contacted Interim Police Chief Hurley 10 days later he claimed to not have seen the report.
After an inside source at the police department told us Hurley had lied the previous day over the phone, we called back the next day to check again.
Hurley would not take our call, and instead passed us off to the department’s Public Information Officer, Captain Phil Trent, who confirmed the report had been made and made it clear there was nothing else he could tell us about it.
That’s when we tracked Stilp down to find out what the problem was.
Since then, our sources inside the department tell us Stilp has been verbally reprimanded by his Captain and the Division Chief for Uniformed Officers.
To this date, Stilp has not been asked about the report he filed or the claims within it, according to our sources inside the department.
We have not had any contact with Stilp since our interview last week, and even another television news crew was turned away from his door as recently as yesterday.
Now with at least one other officer expressing concern about how they will be treated if they come forward, they have turned to the Common Council for help.
Tim Scott told the media the officer claims Corbett made threats to them sometime after he allegedly threatened Stilp.
Councilmen Scott and Henry Davis, Jr. are now calling for an independent party to investigate these matters.
The men believe that by bringing in someone from outside the two organizations, there will be no specter of impropriety on County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak’s part if his office were to conduct the investigation and find in favor of their employee.
A previous investigation into Corbett’s actions, stemming from a 2006 incident in which a man claimed to feel frightened when Corbett showed up at his work, has already laid the ground work for a lack of confidence in Dvorak’s ability to investigate and punish his own employees.
In 2006, Corbett showed up at Mark Price’s work wearing a gun and his badge to convince the man, on behalf of local businessman and Robert Urbanski, to return items Urbanski claimed belonged to him.
Corbett informed Price that he was not acting in any official capacity, Corbett had been asked as a favor to Urbanski to go take care of the problem, and that he was trying to help Price avoid going to jail; but Price felt as if he was being bullied and threatened instead.
After a police report was filed Dvorak’s office investigated Corbett’s actions and determined he violated badge and identification policies, by having his badge displayed during the confrontation.
Corbett was suspended for one day without pay. In the last 10 years this is the only time Corbett has been disciplined by the Prosecutor’s office.
Now, two new claims of threats have come from another law enforcement agency in South Bend.
Dvorak is responding only to the Stilp claim, because he does not believe a second claim exists simply because Tim Scott says it does.
Dvorak plans to treat this issue as an internal personnel matter, and insists that he will investigate the claim and make his decision after looking at the facts.
But because Corbett’s reputation in law enforcement circles of being an incredibly valuable asset for his ability to get results, and thus having protection other officers do not enjoy, has earned him the nickname Teflon Tim; some don’t believe anything will stick even if the claims do turn out to be true.
Which is why the councilmen are urging an outside group investigates the matter; as a way to avoid anymore public distrust.
There is also buzz within the upper echelons of the local Democratic Party that have some concerned, though the accusation is wildly outlandish.
According to a democrat insider, the results of the investigation have already been determined and that Stilp will be suspended by Hurley for speaking to the media while Dvorak is to back Corbett.
Surely, Dvorak is a man of integrity and would never do such a thing; but the claim alone, while insulting to him and his office, is so concerning that a few have given at least some weight to it and see it as yet another reason to insist someone other than his office handle the investigation.