Police investigating traffic stop involving Gary official

2014-06-17T14:35:00Z 2014-06-17T22:14:27Z Police investigating traffic stop involving Gary officialElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 662-5331 nwitimes.com

GARY | Indiana State Police is probing a Saturday morning traffic stop involving Gary's director of communications. 

David Bursten, chief public information officer for Indiana State Police, said the traffic stop by state troopers happened early Saturday morning, but did not release any other details surrounding the stop. He said the department is conducting a preliminary inquiry into actions taken during the traffic stop, which could lead to an internal investigation. 

Chelsea Whittington, director of communications for the city, said by email she was stopped after making a left turn the trooper said was not permissible. She said the traffic stop is being handled as a personnel matter by the city and declined to comment further. 

Whittington's work email sent an automated message stating she is out of the office for the rest of the week. 

No criminal charges had been filed in Lake County Criminal Court against Whittington as of Tuesday.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said in a prepared statement she was handling the issue as a personnel issue.

"I have become aware of a weekend traffic stop that led to conduct by city personnel that is not consistent with the standards set by this administration," Freeman-Wilson said in the statement. 

She said she plans to address the issue once an independent investigation into the traffic stop is completed. 

Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram did not return a call seeking comment on whether his department was involved in the traffic stop.

Whittington has worked as the director of communications since 2012. She previously worked as a public relations specialist for the Gary Community School Corp. 

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