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Goshen Police officers facing dismissal, demotion, suspension over Dec. 14 incident

GOSHEN, Ind. -- Goshen Police Chief Jose Miller held a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss the disciplinary action taken against two officers who were involved in an incident on December 14 and against two officers on the scene of the investigation.

Officer Brody Brown, Sergeant Kyle Kalb and Corporal Leonard Dolshenko, an off duty Elkhart Police officer, were involved in a traffic stop on December 14 following reports of shots fired, according to reports.

During the traffic stop, Brown was arrested for OWI and pleaded guilty on January 22.

After Brown was arrested, officers on scene, including Captain Michael Miller and Lieutenant Mark Clere, allowed Kalb and Dolshenko to leave the scene without conducting a thorough investigation.

Chief Miller recommended officer Brown be suspended without pay for 50 days and must attend an alcohol education program.

ABC57 obtained the personnel files of each of the officers.

Brown's personnel file detailed the following discipline: 

Officer is suspended without pay for a period of fifty (50) work days, or four hundred fifty (450) work hours. Officer’s driver’s license must be reinstated prior to returning to work. Officer shall attend, at his expense, a ten (10) hour alcohol education program offered by the Center for Problem Resolution in Elkhart. This disciplinary action is in addition to the sentencing imposed by the court on January 22, 2019. Officer Brody Brown waived his right to a hearing before the Board of Public Works and Safety and accepted the terms of his disciplinary action on 02/16/2019.

Captain Mike Miller is being demoted to a patrolman and cannot apply for a promotion for two years. The chief said Miller failed to follow proper protocol during the investigation and did not secure the scene properly.

“On duty supervisors made procedural mistakes indicating protocols weren’t followed for the security of the potential crime scene. Their failure to take appropriate action resulted in numerous violations of department rules and regulations and policies,” Chief Miller said.

Miller's personnel file detailed the following discipline:

Captain Michael Miller voluntarily demoted from the position of Captain to that of Patrolman. As a result of officer’s voluntary demotion from Captain, no further disciplinary action will be sought understanding that no other information is learned by investigators which would support alleged criminal wrongdoing. Furthermore, it is determined by the Chief of Police that Officer Michael Miller will not test for any supervisory position within the Goshen Police Department for a period of two years during which time he is not eligible to perform the duties of an Officer –in-charge or be compensated for such duties.

Lieutenant Mark Clere will be suspended for four days without pay. He was not the supervisor on December 14, but was expected to ensure the integrity of the investigation.

Clere's personnel file says:

In the internal investigation it was determined that the officer was in disbelief of the actions of his fellow officers which may have contributed to the violations of policy. It is not believed that there was any malice or intentional violations on the part of the officer and though he was not the ranking supervisor on the scene he has supervisory responsibility to ensure the integrity of the investigation and the crime scene. The officer was forthright and cooperative during the entirety of the internal investigation. For the aforementioned violations, the officer is suspended for a period of four (4) days without pay. In Lieu of four days of suspension the officer voluntarily forfeits four days (36 hours) of Time Coming Leave

Kyle Kalb was recommended for dismissal, but his resignation was accepted at the Board of Public Safety meeting Monday afternoon. It is believed Kalb was the one who fired the shots, according to his discipline record.

Due to the officer’s self-admitted extreme level of intoxication the officer stated that he could not recall any of the details in reference to the shots fired from the vehicle in which he was seated in the front passenger seat. The officer, regardless of the level of impairment acted in a manner which was careless, reckless, and unbecoming of any individual of this department. In response to the aforementioned violations and conduct; it is the recommendation of the administration that this officer be dismissed. Officer was notified of the administration intent and given the opportunity to appear and represent himself with or without counsel at the hearing scheduled for March 4, 2019. Officer was notified of these findings 02/13/2019 at 1500 hours.

Chief Miller apologized to the community for the actions of his officers on December 14.

“Officers have a moral and legal obligation to abide by the laws they enforce. Several officers failed at those obligations that early morning of December 14th 2018. For that I want to apologize to both the community and the men and women of the Goshen Police department," Chief Miller said.

Elkhart Police took Corporal Dolshenko off administrative leave and returned to his normal duties after the Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office revealed it would not file charges in the case.

BACKGROUND:

During the early morning hours of December 14, a Goshen Police officer was monitoring traffic when he heard what sounded like two gunshots coming from an area under the overpass.

The officer then saw a pickup truck traveling north and began following it.

The officer called for backup as he witnessed the truck travel at an excessive speed and disregard a red light, according to reports.

After conducting a traffic stop on the truck, the officer made contact with the driver, Brody Brown, who was an officer with the Goshen Police Department.

As backup began to arrive, the officer said he observed Brown demonstrate signs of intoxication.

The officer began the investigation into Brown's alleged impaired driving while the other officers who arrived were tasked with investigating the possible gunshots.

Brown failed a field sobriety test and he was transported to the Goshen Police Department and jailed for operating while intoxicated.

Brown was apologetic and admitted to his alcohol use but said he did not know who fired the gun - only that it was one of his passengers, according to the prosecutor's office release.

Brown surrendered his weapon, which was fully loaded, reports said.

Captain Miller of the Goshen Police Department identified the other passengers in the vehicle as Kyle Kalb, an off duty Goshen Police officer and Leonard Dolshenko, an off duty Elkhart Police Officer, reports said.

Miller spoke with both Kalb and Dolshenko about the sound of gunshots. Both refused to respond, reports said.

Another investigator asked Kalb and Dolshenko about the gunshots and neither admitted any knowledge of shots being fired.

Captain Miller then moved the truck from the roadway and told Kalb and Dolshenko to get a ride home, according to the prosecutor's office release.

Officers on scene searched the roadway and grassy areas south of the underpass for ammunition casings or other evidence, but no evidence was located.

Goshen Police administrators were notified of the incident and because proper protocols were not followed, the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office was asked to take over the investigation, reports said.

Kalb was formally interviewed and advised that he could not recall what occurred regarding any alleged shooting as he had no memory due to his level of intoxication, but could recall details of other events that evening without difficulty, reports said.

Kalb admitted one of his personal handguns was missing two rounds after examining it the following day, but said he did not believe he had the gun with him that night and did not recall firing a gun from the vehicle, reports said.

Dolshenko was formally interviewed and said he could not recall any alleged shooting due to his level of intoxication, but was able to recall other details of that evening, reports said.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Office completed a review and found they were unable to determine whether any criminal conduct occurred "due to the lack of appropriate investigation at the time of the suspected offense."

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