Head of Metro Homicide accused of threats and being on scandal recordings
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – It started with a phone call according to Officer Jack Stilp, a dayshift corporal at the South Bend Police Department.
The call from Commander Tim Corbett, the head of the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, began as any other would, according to Stilp; small talk about personal matters.
But it would soon take a nasty turn, according to Stilp. “He pretty much told me to keep my mouth shut and that myself along with the other dayshift officers need to keep our mouth shut and quit talking about what’s going on with this investigation,” said Stilp.
Stilp is referring to the ongoing saga related to the demotion of former police chief Darryl Boykins and the firing of former Director of Communications Karen DePaepe.
The pair’s employment was adjusted by Mayor Buttigieg, he says, after a federal investigation and conversations with U.S. District Attorney David Capp led him to believe federal charges would be filed if Buttigieg didn’t remove them from their positions.
Stilp showed up to support Boykins in the days following his demotion, and was captured on camera doing so. Stilp says he has seen that footage play numerous times since.
He also admits that he spoke freely about his feelings about the situation involving Boykins and DePaepe with co-workers, and shared his sentiments about how necessary it is the contents of the recordings are brought to light.
Then, on April 24, Stilp claims Corbett called him and threatened him.
We met with Stilp and he agreed to answer our questions in relation to the report he filed after that phone call. He also agreed to provide us with a copy of the report so that we could verify what he was telling us is what he submitted.
In the officer’s report Stilp claims Corbett said, “Well, all you day shift mother [--expletive--] better quit running you sucks, trust me, there’s some [--expletive--] coming down shortly.”
When Stilp inquired what that mean, he claims Corbett said, “What does that mean? I’m just telling you that I’m the wrong guy to be [--expletive--] with...” before hanging up the phone abruptly.
Because of the alleged comments, Stilp says he felt threatened by the exchange.
Stilp claims not to know Corbett well, though admits he did pay Corbett for some work he provided him while off duty in relation to a civil case Stilp is still going through; according to Stilp that was several months ago, prior to the scandal breaking.
After talking to Stilp, and reading the report, we called Karen DePaepe’s attorney.
From the beginning we have had sources inside law enforcement telling us, Corbett may be one of several people on the recordings DePaepe found.
Because she is the only person to have admitted to listening to the conversations, we wanted to know if she was ready to go on record over whether Corbett is in them.
DePaepe’s attorney told ABC 57, he could confirm that she did indeed hear Corbett while listening to the recordings.
We contacted Tim Corbett multiple times offering him an opportunity to give his side of the story.
He did not return our calls, but late Wednesday afternoon his boss, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak did.
All Dvorak would say is his office will be looking into the matter of the alleged threat promptly.