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City of Gary Police Civil Service Commission v. Robinson

Court of Appeals of Indiana

April 17, 2018

City of Gary Police Civil Service Commission, Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
Raymond Robinson, Appellee-Respondent.

          Appeal from the Lake Superior Court The Honorable A. Leon Sarkisian, Judge Pro Tempore The Honorable Diane Kavadias Schneider, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 45D11-1503-PL-22

          Attorney for Appellant Rodney Pol, Jr. Assistant City Attorney Gary, Indiana.

          Attorney for Appellee Russell W. Brown, Jr. Scott King Group Merrillville, Indiana.

          NAJAM, JUDGE.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] The City of Gary Police Civil Service Commission ("Commission") appeals the trial court's entry of summary judgment for Raymond Robinson on his petition for judicial review from an adverse decision of the Commission. The Commission raises three issues for our review, which we restate as follows:

1. Whether the trial court erred when it denied the Commission's motion to dismiss Robinson's petition for judicial review.
2. Whether the Commission preserved for appellate review its claim that the trial court considered inadmissible evidence on summary judgment.
3. Whether the trial court erred when it entered summary judgment for Robinson.

         [¶2] We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] In September of 2012, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") arrested Gary Police Department ("GPD") Officer David Finley on charges of corruption. The FBI's investigation and ultimate arrest of Finley was based at least in part on tips provided by a confidential informant ("CI"). Shortly after Finley's arrest, the CI "went into hiding out of a valid fear that Finley (or associates) would harm" the CI. Appellant's App. Vol. II at 61.

         [¶4] On January 19, 2013, Robinson, also an officer with the GPD, used his GPD credentials to conduct an unauthorized informational search of the National Crime Information Center ("NCIC") and the Indiana Data and Communication System ("IDACS"), which are law enforcement databases that contain information about individuals who have had contact with law enforcement. Robinson searched those databases for the CI who had assisted the FBI in Finley's case. The CI's information in those databases included the CI's phone number. Shortly after Robinson conducted that search, the CI began receiving threatening phone calls.

         [¶5] The CI informed the FBI of those calls, and FBI Special Agent Dan Cooley investigated. In the course of that investigation, Special Agent Cooley learned that Robinson had used the NCIC and IDACS databases to access the CI's information. Special Agent Cooley arranged to interview Robinson at a GPD station in February. During that interview, Robinson admitted that he had used his GPD credentials to conduct an unauthorized search for the CI and that he had seen the CI's information in those databases. But Robinson stated that he had performed that search simply out of "curiosity." Id. Later, Robinson also admitted that he had ...


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