Suspended Hobart police officer alleges due process violations in federal suit

2012-11-27T00:00:00Z 2012-12-03T14:59:04Z Suspended Hobart police officer alleges due process violations in federal suitDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The attorney for a suspended Hobart police officer filed suit on Monday saying his client's due process rights were violated. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond.

Christopher Cooper, attorney for Officer Kirk Homoky, named the Hobart Board of Public Works in the suit as being in violation for not setting a disciplinary hearing for his client within a 30-day period as prescribed by law.

Homoky, 32, a six-year veteran, was relieved of his services and placed on unpaid administrative leave on Nov. 19 by Police Chief Jeff White.

White requested Homoky's termination at the meeting last week. Insubordination was the grounds, he said.

The board set a 9 a.m. Jan. 23 hearing for Homoky.

At last week's meeting, City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said Homoky's attorney had requested the hearing and filed several grievances.

In the suit filed Monday, Cooper also named White, detectives Jeremy Ogden and Garrett Ciszewski and the Porter County Sheriff's Department.

The complaint claims Homoky was deprived of his 14th Amendment due process rights as a police officer when terminated by White.

The crux of the insubordination charge is that Homoky had agreed to take a voice stress test, as requested by his superiors, Cooper said, as part of an ongoing investigation.

Right before the test, Homoky questioned signing off on a permission document that stated he "voluntarily" would submit to the voice stress test when he had been ordered to do so, Cooper said.

The Porter County Sheriff's Department is named in the suit because "the release form doesn't include language that allows a person to show the submission is involuntary," Cooper said.

Ciszewski is named in the suit because he was present when the test was administered and demanded Homoky sign the form "as is," Cooper said.

Ogden and Ciszewski are accused in the suit of "maliciously, willfully, wantonly and intentionally using the investigation process to harass Homoky."

The suit claims Ogden and Ciszewski "over the phone shouted at Homoky, accused him of being a liar and threatened to cause him harm." 

DeBonis said he had received a copy of the suit, but was not prepared to comment until researching it further.

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