HR investigation finds no wrongdoing in NAPD

Published: Dec. 11, 2014 at 3:34 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2015 at 3:34 AM EST
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Laura Schook (Source: News & Tribune)
Laura Schook (Source: News & Tribune)

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - The accusations are shocking: criminal conduct, discrimination and corruption by New Albany Police Department leaders.

It's what the department has dealt with for months after one of its own officers made the claims.

Wednesday, NAPD discussed a final report issued in the case that found no wrongdoing.

This fourth investigation, the first conducted by the Louisville firm Integrity HR, found no labor laws were violated and there was no workplace harassment, but the officer making the claims is sticking by her story, says her attorney.

"The alleged offenders were allowed to investigate themselves," said NAPD Officer Laura Schook in May, claiming a serious abuse of tax dollars, corruption and harassment. It led to the resignations and reassignments of New Albany Police Chief Sherri Knight and her assistant chief.

Schook told the Police Merit Commission then that fellow officers Gary Humphrey and Jon Tucker were on the clock with NAPD while working other jobs.

Schook's attorney, Laura Landenwich, said police leaders knew Humphrey wasn't on the street.

"It was well-known that if he was on shift, you could find his cruiser parked outside River City Winery," Landenwich said in May.

Even though Chief Knight was part of the complaint, she investigated and found nothing. Schook and her attorney said Knight should not have been investigating the case. So Todd Bailey stepped back into the role of Chief and conducted a second investigation.

"We took a very hard look at our department to determine if there was a practice that was out of balance or wrong," Bailey said on Dec. 10.

Bailey said he could not substantiate Schook's claims.

Next, Indiana State Police investigated for any criminal wrongdoing and recently announced they found none.

Now, this fourth city investigation conducted by Integrity HR found no wrongdoing in the workplace.

"I believe our staff is a very ethical and moral staff, and at no time was there any behavior of this sort occurring," said Bailey.

Schook and the officers she's accusing still work for NAPD. Former Police Chief Knight is now a detective.

Bailey admits it's an uncomfortable situation for all the officers and understands it's probably stressful for Schook, but he says the officers are on different shifts, and above all, they're professionals.

Schook's attorney said she hadn't looked at the investigation yet, but is disappointed the NAPD didn't implement reforms to improve its credibility and continues with business as usual. She said the department's evaluation of itself does not change Schook's intent to pursue her claims of discrimination and retaliation.

Chief Bailey said he won't speculate about Schook's future. He said he will turn over all the information to the New Albany Police Department Merit Commission and let its members decide whether they will take any disciplinary action.

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