City's 3 Top-Ranking Police Officers Resign After Mayor's Son Arrested

Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek and his two assistant chiefs submitted their resignations to Mayor Ron Meer.

Michigan City, IN – The three highest-ranking members of the Michigan City Police Department (MCPD) resigned from their positions this week, following a “private heated conversation” with the city’s mayor.

Mayor Ron Meer’s stepson was recently arrested on drug and weapons charges by a multiagency task force that included members of the MCPD, according to Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek’s resignation letter.

Meer subsequently accused the task force and the county prosecutor of orchestrating his stepson’s arrest as a political ploy ahead of the upcoming mayoral election, WSBT reported.

On Tuesday, Chief Swistek and MCPD Assistant Chiefs Kevin Urbanczyk and Royce Williams all resigned their positions following a “private heated conversation” with Meer, the mayor told the news outlet.

“Your directive to me this evening to withdraw all cooperation and participation in the La Porte County Drug Task Force and to reassign the officers who are currently attached to the Task Force placed the Michigan City community at unacceptable risk,” Chief Swistek wrote in his resignation letter.

“I am simply unable to reconcile my oath of office with your directive for me to withdraw our Department’s participation in the Task Force, reassign the talented and committed members of the [MCPD] who are currently serving the unit with the utmost integrity, dedication and professionalism asked of them,” the chief added.

Chief Swistek noted that La Porte County, which includes Michigan City, has been designated as a “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area,” and that the creation of the joint task force took “years of effort.”

“I do not know whether your decision is related to your step-son’s recent arrest by the Task Force,” the chief told Meer in the letter. “But I do know that your decision is not in the interest of public safety.”

“For the first time in my law enforcement career, I am unable to serve both my mayor on the one hand, and on the other, the people of Michigan City and my brothers and sisters in law enforcement,” Chief Swistek continued. “I am therefore forced to choose who I will continue to serve. Without hesitation, I choose the latter.”

The 27-year veteran-of-the-force noted that his resignation was effective immediately, and that he would continue to serve MCPD at the rank of lieutenant.

Meer released a statement about the chief and assistant chiefs’ resignations on Thursday, and said that all three officers have agreed to “continue to serve the community as chiefs until their successors are chosen.”

They will then return to their former ranks, and will all remain with the department.

Meer said that he and his family “have been under extreme stress and criticism” since his stepson’s arrest.

“I apologized for my choice of words to the Chief during a private heated discussion, and I apologize to the members of the [MPD], especially to the detectives currently assigned to the Drug Task Force,” the mayor wrote.

“I did not mean what I said to Chief Swistek and I had no intention of reassigning any officers on the LaPorte County Drug Task Force or withdrawing the cooperation and participation of the [MCPD] on said task force,” he added.

Meer later said that he “probably could have” addressed his concerns with the chief “more professionally and in a different manner,” but noted that he already apologized to the “upper echelon of the administration” who “felt insulted” by his words, WNDU reported.

The Michigan City municipal general elections will take place on Nov. 5.

Comments (49)
No. 1-22
Rocksmyth
Rocksmyth

What a bum. How do you orchestrate a drug and weapon arrest? Hold him down and make him smoke crack? Put a gun in his jeans when he isnt looking? This thug should not be the mayor.

sturnman22
sturnman22

Recall the Mayor - conduct unbecoming, unprofessional and unethical.

oldbat
oldbat

if election's coming up VOTE THE ASSH--- OUT

hatman7663
hatman7663

Let the voters speak at the ballot box in the upcoming election! A tip of my cap to the former chief & his top 2 aides in doing the honorable thing by standing up for the community.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Adam Ross Bray, 33, of Michigan City, was arrested about 8:30 p.m. Thursday by Michigan City Police and the La Porte County Drug Task Force. The arrest was made at Lake Park Plaza in the 5100 block of South Franklin Street, according to Michigan City Police Lt. Tim Richardson, commander of the task force.

Bray is charged with Level 4 felony counts of possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm (handgun) by a violent felon; and a misdemeanor count of resisting law enforcement, according to the La Porte County Sheriff's Department...

Bray has had multiple previous arrests, though in many of the cases the charges were later dismissed, according to court records, including arrests shortly before two previous elections.

In April 2011, a month before Meer won his first municipal primary, Bray was arrested on charges of dealing cocaine, according to court records. He later pleaded guilty to one count and was sentenced to 4 years in the Indiana Department of Correction; 2 years in La Porte County Community Corrections Work Release; and 4 years probation.

And in September 2015, less than two months before Meer was re-elected, Bray was charged with resisting law enforcement, according to court records. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 365 days in jail, but the jail time was suspended, court records show.

Gmandude
Gmandude

Smells like the dad is in on the drug trafficking, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Oh sure, it's just a political smear campaign. Mayor is an enabling fool.

Priors:

CRIMINAL RECKLESSNESS-D FEL

DISORDERLY CONDUCT

FAILURE TO APPEAR A-MISDE

BATTERY-B MISD

CHILD MOLESTING-B FEL

STRANGULATION

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

RESISTING LAW ENFORCE-A MISD

DEALING COCAINE-A FEL

REVOC/SUSP/SENT

Resisting Law Enforcement

Criminal Trespass

Possession of Cocaine

Resisting Law Enforcement

Felon Carrying a Handgun

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

That should be illegal to direct officers NOT TO COOPERATE, with an ongoing investigation. That mayor needs to be removed immediately.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Ya'll can vote this Douche-bag out on November 5th (6am-6pm). Vote RED!

Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

So, the mayor's kids is a Druggy and likes to have a GUN,,and what does the Mayor do,,,Sure as hell NOT Correct his Brat's behavior, He wants everyone involved in this arrest Removed from the Task Force and the Task Force CLOSED...THIS is why his kid's a LOSER. Plain and simple

Rt1129
Rt1129

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here. Democrat ????

tfort
tfort

Time to make your vote count.

Aramovich
Aramovich

Kudos to the cops for courage and sacrifice. I'm sure they are in for a pay cut and possibly later retribution.

CaptCap
CaptCap

This statement alone appears to be a complete lie and abdication; he needs to resign immediately:

“I did not mean what I said to Chief Swistek and I had no intention of reassigning any officers on the LaPorte County Drug Task Force or withdrawing the cooperation and participation of the [MCPD] on said task force...”

Grog
Grog

Seems the mayor's stepson is a scumbag!

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Election November 5th

investigator
investigator

Indiana seems to have real problems with their Mayors. This one should be voted out in a landslide next month....another one in Jeffersonville , ALLEGEDLY sexually assaulted a girl, under five years old several years ago....then the Police reports somehow were lost....and now he's Mayor. Guess the folks in Indiana don't care WHO is running their cities.

RunCop
RunCop

Vile liberal anti-police scumbag

Stupid people
Stupid people

You don’t always have to like the tune . However, a lot of times your Ass will have to dance to the music you create.

Stupid people
Stupid people

Do the crime . Do the damn time.

LifetimeSooner
LifetimeSooner

Please folks; use your vote and get this douche out of office

Badge204
Badge204

CONGRATS. TO THE CHIEF AND HIS COMMAND. This person called a MAYOR thought he could abuse his power of office. He tried to interfere will an lawful arrest.

The CHIEF. WAS CORRECT. IN HIS AND HIS STAFF DECISION.

I experienced the same. Reduce your verbal to a written order. Never meet without witness or a taped conversation. Make sure you or your department has this rule in place. Before any political hack Is elected.

You are protected by this simple thing. This person does not run departments nor Give illegal orders. HE IS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL SERVING THE CITIZENS He should be taken before a grand jury by prosecutors. For interfering in a police Investigation

Keep on keeping on CHIEF. THE COMMUNITY HEARD YOU. WELL DONE SIR.