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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ind. Decisions - "Supreme Court won’t rule on Messer case"

The Supreme Court has denied transfer in the case of Jack Messer v. New Albany Police Department (ILB summary of 2-1 COA opinion here). The Court's transfer list will not be available until at least Monday, but the Supreme Court's decision not to grant transfer is reported today in two SE Indiana papers.

Daniel Suddeath's story in the New Albany News & Tribune begins:

NEW ALBANY — A petition for the Indiana Supreme Court to hear Jack Messer’s appeal of a suspension from the New Albany Police Department has been denied.

The Supreme Court released a notice Friday stating it denied the request of Messer’s legal counsel to transfer jurisdiction of the case from the Indiana Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.

In March and by a 2-1 vote, the Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the New Albany Police Merit Commission to suspend Messer for 30 days without pay for making alleged racist comments during a January 2010 roll call meeting.

Messer made a statement to the effect “the worst thing we ever did was to give those people their civil rights” in reference to black people. Messer didn’t deny making the statement, but said he was misunderstood and that he was criticizing the government for its treatment of minorities.

The decision had previously been upheld in 2011 in Floyd County Superior Court. Messer — a 28-year NAPD veteran and former New Albany City Councilman and mayoral candidate — has already served the suspension.

From the Louisville Courier Journal, Harold J. Adams story begins:
The long-running legal battle over a New Albany police officer’s comment on race and civil rights may finally be over.

The Indiana Supreme Court Friday turned down Jack Messer’s request that it hear his effort to reverse an Indiana Court of Appeals decision upholding a 30-day suspension issued against him by the New Albany Police Merit Board.

Messer told other officers following a January 2010 roll call that civil rights for blacks was “the biggest mistake the government made.” The 28-year veteran of the force explained that the remark was not intended to be racist and later defended it as constitutionally protected free speech.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 7, 2012 08:10 PM
Posted to Indiana Transfer Lists