Spokane Mayor David Condon is close to hiring a new police chief and one of the applicants is the embattled Indianapolis public safety director, who resigned his position in April in advance of a potential no-confidence vote.
Frank Straub has been the public safety director of Indianapolis since January of 2010, but submitted his resignation on April 27, which will be effective August 1, which coincides with Condon's plans to name a new chief for the Spokane Police Department in August.
City spokesperson Marlene Feist confirmed Monday afternoon that the application period has closed for the chief of police position and 13 people have applied for the job. Feist said the city won't release the names of applicants until they get down to the last four or five finalists.
Feist added that she can't confirm if Straub had applied for the position, however Feist did say that Condon talked with him over the phone and encouraged him to apply for the position.
Sources told KXLY Monday morning that Straub has applied for the position; WRTV in Indianpolis reported later in the day that Straub confirmed he had submitted an application for the position.
At present Straub oversees Indianapolis' police, fire and even its animal control agency, and if he is considered a finalist it could suggest that Mayor Condon is considering consolidating Spokane's public safety programs as well.
His tenure as public safety director in Indianapolis has recently been mired in controversy. In April it was reported that officer morale was low and the police and fire department budgets were short $30 Million.
Also in April, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Paul Ciesielski was forced to resign in the wake of mishandled evidence in the case of Indianapolis police officer David Bisard, who was allegedly drunk and on-duty when his patrol car hit a motorcyclist and killed the rider.
Straub has also been facing increasingly intense scrutiny from the Fraternal Order of Police which, according to WTHR in Indianapolis, said the $30 million budget shortfall was due to money mismanagement.
WRTV in Indianapolis reports that his reforms -- new professional standards for the IMPD and diversification of the force -- caused friction both within the department and among politicians, who had been planning to hold a no-confidence vote against Straub on May 16. After announcing his resignation that vote was put off.
Straub says that had nothing to do with his resignation nor did the push back from some within the police department, according to WRTV. He said Monday afternoon that he had been planning to leave his position in Indianapolis for several months.
"This is a department confronted by a group of people who don't want to change. Who want to hold to the vestiges of the past. They want to protect their individual turfs to speak and nothing about overall good of the department," Straub told WRTV.
Straub has over 25 years of criminal justice experience and was previously the director of public safety in White Plains, New York, where Straub's biography claims that city saw a 40-percent decline in serious crime during Straub's tenure. He was also the deputy commissioner of training for the New York Police Department where, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Straub oversaw the recruitment and training of 1,600 new police officers.
He has also dealt with police corruption and spent ten years as a special agent for the Office of the Inspector General in the Justice Department.
Straub has an extensive education background which he focused primarily on criminal justice. He earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York, his Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. John’s University.
The City of Spokane re-launched its search for a new chief of police on June 1 with the mayor hopeful he could name a new chief by August.
“Restoring public confidence in our Spokane Police Department remains my highest priority. I believe we now have a solid understanding of what our community wants in a new Chief, and we are in a good position to attract top talent to run our department,” Mayor Condon said in early June.
Condon said that among the key elements he was looking for in a new chief was someone with a background in "metro policing models," something that Straub implemented during his tenure as public safety director in Indianapolis.
Straub has not returned calls for comment on this story.
Brady Gibson / WRTV in Indianapolis contributed to this report.