New Albany Merit Commission to decide if whistle-blowing police officer stays on force

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS) -- Roughly 10 months after New Albany Police Officer Laura Schook brought allegations of police corruption to the Merit Commission, the same commission will be deciding on her employment. At their meeting Thursday, they discussed a date for Schook's hearing, when she'll make her case to stay on the force. Schook's family and supporters were on hand Thursday to stand by her and her allegations.

"We are here to support Laura. We have a lot of members in the community and all over the state. Her family is here to support her. We are all on her side. My sister is a good officer and she deserves justice, so she deserves to be heard and she will," said Schook's sister Stephanie Day.

"I am so proud of Laura for standing up, while everyone else hides their eyes and looks the other way she should be cheered on," said friend and supporter Valla Ann Marcus.

New Albany's former Police Chief Sherri Knight stepped down amid these allegations back in May. ISP's White Collar Crimes Unit investigated the claims which included alleged falsified time-sheets this summer, but no criminal charges were filed.

Schook's family says the department is trying to fire her partially because she brought her claims to the public.

"They've also stated that her allegations were not true and she shed a bad light on the police department," said Day. "None of her proof is out there, we don't even know what they did in their investigations."

The board did not agree on a hearing date and are still working out details with attorneys for both sides. A board member says the hearing will be a closed courtroom-like session where both sides will present their evidence and the board will act as the jury.

Current New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey did not comment except to say that the matter is now in the hands of the Merit Commission.


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