Hobart board places police officer charged with three felonies on leave without pay

2013-02-06T21:30:00Z 2013-03-15T15:18:03Z Hobart board places police officer charged with three felonies on leave without payDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | A police officer charged with felony counts of fraud and theft will remain on administrative leave without pay until acquitted or convicted.

The Board of Public Works made that decision Wednesday after receiving a request from interim Police Chief Vance Thompson in regard to Officer Kirk Homoky.

Thompson was represented by attorney Dan Whitten in the proceedings.

Homoky's attorney, Christopher Cooper, sent a two-page letter to the board that was read by City Attorney Anthony DeBonis.

Cooper, in the correspondence, said Homoky intends to prove his innocence before a criminal tribunal and before the board.

Cooper also maintained that his client should be granted a disciplinary hearing if termination were considered. If the board were to suspend Homoky, it should be a paid suspension, Cooper said in the letter.

Homoky, 37, was charged Monday in Lake County court with two counts of fraud on a financial institution and one count of theft.

Homoky was relieved of his duties and placed on paid administrative leave Monday after the charges were filed, Lt. David Grissom said.

DeBonis advised the Board of Public Works that it should place Homoky on leave without pay until after court proceedings.

"The charges arose out of a private business matter and not in connection with his police officer duties," DeBonis said.

Police Detective Jeremy Ogden, as part of an ongoing investigation involving Homoky, met with the manager at Stardust Bowl, 3925 E. 81st Ave., court documents state.

Manager Dan Barton said Homoky had worked security for him one night between Feb. 18, 2010, and Feb. 24, 2010, for a total of 3.5 hours.

Barton said Homoky had picked up or had someone else pick up seven checks he wasn't entitled to receive between March 11, 2010, and April 15, 2010.

Barton then provided bank records that indicated the checks were cashed, court documents state.

Once the error was discovered, Barton said he called Homoky but never received a phone call back.

The total amount of money Homoky received was $492.80, Barton told police.

Homoky's former wife confirmed she had been asked to pick up the checks for him at Stardust, according to court documents.

The checks had been deposited and cashed at a joint Harris Bank account held by Homoky and his former wife, court documents state.

Homoky was suspended Nov. 19 by former Police Chief Jeff White, who attempted to fire Homoky from the department, citing insubordination.

White agreed to drop the insubordination charge and concentrate on the internal investigation against Homoky at the Dec. 5 Board of Public Works meeting.

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