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IMPD investigates Brizzi golf cart incident

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The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding an officer's injury at a 2008 fundraiser for Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

Detective Steven Buchanan, a member of Brizzi's security detail, wound up with a broken wrist and bruised knee after a golf cart carrying him and Brizzi flipped at the Ironwood Golf Club on Oct. 10, 2008.

A police report filed at the time says Buchanan was behind the wheel at around 1 p.m. when "an unidentified white vehicle" backed out of a parking spot, causing him to swerve and flip the cart.

IMPD's internal affairs unit opened an investigation this month into whether the report accurately describes what happened that Friday afternoon after receiving tips suggesting it does not, said Public Safety Director Frank Straub. The key question is whether Brizzi was driving the cart when it flipped, and if so, why the report says otherwise.

The incident report — filed by Sgt. Michael Thayer, another member of Brizzi's security detail – does not mention Brizzi.

The Republican prosecutor that day was hosting his fifth-annual "Putt with the Prosecutor" golf outing, which started at 8:30 a.m. and featured "St. Elmo shrimp cocktail on course" and a "Ruth's Chris Beverage Station," according to the event invitation.

The outing at 10955 Fall Road in Fishers cost $250 per person.

Brizzi did not respond to requests for comment. Neither Buchanan nor Thayer could be reached.

Straub said he expects the investigation could wrap up as soon as this week.

"When we find out what happened or didn't happen, we'll proceed accordingly," he said.

The probe is another headache for Brizzi, who has drawn fire in recent months for his business dealings while in office including a real estate partnership with a defense attorney whose clients received favorable plea deals.

In a separate move, IMPD has cut back overtime hours allowed for members of Brizzi's security detail, one of the department's most prolific overtime producers. The move is part of a department-wide effort to rein in overtime, Straub said.

Officers working Brizzi's security detail from 2008 through March 2010 logged at least 2,465 overtime hours, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s tabulation of hundreds of overtime vouchers. That adds up to about $100,000 in extra pay. IBJ and Indiana Lawyer are IBJ Media publications.

The officers, assigned to the Prosecutor's Office Grand Jury unit, drive Brizzi all day, including to the gym, the Prosecutor's Office and to evening functions.

New requests for overtime are being reviewed by Deputy Chief William Benjamin, who is looking at whether requested Grand Jury overtime hours are for Brizzi's security detail or for actual investigations, Straub said.

"My issue is making sure the taxpayers are getting the services they deserve for the expenditure of those hours," he said.

An overtime voucher for Buchanan, the officer who was injured after being thrown from the golf cart, shows he worked from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. that day, picking up five hours of overtime.
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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