Officer discusses Teachman investigation at SB Council Meeting - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Officer discusses Teachman investigation at SB Council Meeting


A jam-packed South Bend Common Council meeting Monday.

Members voted to boost their own pay, and there was a surprise speaker in the crowd.

An officer, who says he couldn't hold back anymore.

Officer David Newton went before the Council to talk about an investigation into his boss, South Bend Police Chief Ron Teachman.

Newton says there were more than 50 people fighting outside the King Center and one man said there was a gun.

That's when he called for backup on the radio. He said Chief Teachman, who was inside the King Center, didn't come to his aid.

Indiana State Police have already investigated and Mayor Pete Buttigieg says the chief did nothing wrong.

Newton says Mayor Buttigieg said the issue made a mountain out of a molehill, but Newton says that wasn't the case.

"I am sure that this letter will result in the regression of my career and payback in the future of some type because I am making this request. However I can no longer sit by and watch the flip characterization by mayor Buttigieg that the incident was quote 'a molehill being made a mountain,'" says Newton.

Also at the council meeting Monday, a little controversy over a resolution passed by the Council to provide a tax abatement for an affordable housing project.

The $8.5 million dollar project by the Near Northwest Neighborhood would renovate the old Ford distribution building on Portage into 42 units.

Councilwoman Valerie Schey says the request is not like others because the non-profit already receives federal funds through HUD.

She also requested Near Northwest give jobs to local workers during construction who are a fair representation of the community.

"It's somewhat beholden to serve many of those residents that have been disadvantaged in the past and have not had an opportunity to grow their skillset and participate in the economic opportunities have come before the city," says Schey.

Near Northwest says only private funds will be used for the project.

Those who live near the building say it would be good for the community, "We haven't had any development up and down Portage avenue from downtown to Cleveland Road. There's been almost nothing in eight years I've lived here and I think we should go ahead and approve this as soon as possible."

The NNN says its committed to giving 4% of project costs will be bid to businesses of minorities, women and veterans.

Lastly, community members asked the Council to write a letter to the Secretary of Defense asking for an exemption for the Mayor's deployment next year.

Community activist, Mario Sims says the Mayor hasn't made clear whether he volunteered to deploy or whether he was called up.

Sims says the Mayor has more important duties to take care of here in South Bend.

The Mayor's office released this statement in response:

"If the Navy considered the mayor to be exempt, he would not have been ordered to Afghanistan. As a military officer he has made a commitment to our country, and his orders require him to keep that promise by going to Afghanistan next year. He recognizes that for these purposes, he is just a sailor and it is his turn to go." -Kara Kelly, spokeswoman, Office of Mayor Pete Buttigieg

The Council also voted to give themselves a 2% raise and to keep the Mayor's salary the same at $100,431 at his request.

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