Fired South Bend officer files wrongful termination lawsuit

A former South Bend Police officer has filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging wrongful termination.

On May 5, South Bend Police Chief Ron Teachman filed disciplinary charges against Detective Sgt. Dave Beaty for alleged violations of general conduct.

The South Bend Public Safety Board ruled on August 19 that Beaty violated the department's general order and should be terminated.

Beaty's lawsuit alleges the decision was "arbitrary, capricious and not supported by substantial evidence." He added that the punishment for the violations is excessive.

Beaty claimed that the SBPD bundled the accusations together and didn't address each of them as they arose. In the lawsuit, he asks that the court reverse the board's decision to terminate him and award full back pay.

In documents submitted to the Board of Public Safety, Teachman documented several incidents over the course of Beaty's tenure with the South Bend Police Department.

According to the documents, on Nov. 1, 2014, Beaty left his patrol car unlocked while he went inside a bar where he was employed. A laptop was stolen from the car in the process. Officers are not allowed to work directly or indirectly inside a building or enclosed area where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed on the premises. Beaty was responsible for properly securing his assigned vehicle and equipment before leaving them unattended.

On Dec. 2, 2014, the report says Beaty initially falsely reported how damage to his patrol car happened, blaming the damage on an unknown person. His story changed, saying he collided with a "yellow post" on Nov. 26, 2014.

The next submission in the report was in reference to the derogatory comments made towards a waitress. The report says, on Oct. 16, 2014, Beaty "made course [sic], profane, and degrading, comments to a member of the wait staff at P&G Restaurant in South Bend, Ind." The report goes on to say officers shall not commit any acts which constitute violation of any of the rules, regulations, directives or orders of the department and that officers should conduct themselves on and off duty in such a manner as to reflect most favorably on the department.

The report goes on to name two other infractions in 2014 that Beaty was a part of. It also lists eight acts of misconduct during his 22-year career ranging from 1993 to 2010, and also mentions 12 citizen and administrative complaints with each requiring an independent investigation.