Exclusive: Mayor Henry Speaks Out About Board Of Public Safety

By John W. Davis

July 1, 2010 Updated Jul 1, 2010 at 10:35 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Indiana's NewsCenter spoke to Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry because our viewers want to know why Fort Wayne Police Officer Scott Morales is still on the force after 15 suspensions.

When first questioned, Henry was vague.

"I believe that has already been answered by several of my staff members, our city attorney has responded to it, as well several other members of the Board of Safety so I'm going to let that one go," said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.

However, later in the short interview Mayor Henry opened up and said he is standing with the Board of Public Safety because disciplinary actions are ultimately the board's decision.

"That's why we have a Board of Public Safety to take care of that and we have attorneys assigned to that. So they're the ones responsible for that ultimately," said Henry.

Henry's interview was conducted Thursday night as the Mayor walked through the Eastland Gardens neighborhood on the city's south side.

Henry visited the Eastland Gardens neighborhood to meet, greet and listen to the concerns of community members.

When questioned whether if he was still confident in Board of Public Safety members ability to do their job, Henry responded, "exactly."

Meanwhile, community leaders think the board needs to take a second look at their recent decision.

"I think people need to be on that board that is gonna make decisions not on the police officer or on the citizen but make the decision based on the rules and regs of that organization," said Rev. Michael Latham of the Renaissance Baptist Church.

Latham is the former Executive Director of the Fort Wayne chapter of the NAACP.

"Sometimes you do that you may hurt someone but we depend on that board to make proper decisions," said Latham.

According to a fact finding report, Officer Morales slammed a prisoner's head and choked him so the man would follow his orders.

The Board of Public Safety found Morales guilty of excessive force for the second time in his career.

His punishment for the February 13 incident, a suspension of 90 working days without pay.

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