Tort Claim Aimed at Actions of Ex-Jasper Cop

The actions of a former Jasper Police officer are the subject of a tort claim filed by a man claiming to be a victim back in April.

The tort notice, which is required by Indiana law prior to the filing of a lawsuit, listed the City of Jasper, the Jasper Police Department, and former officer David Drew as the parties involved. According to the notice, Drew sexually assaulted the man back on October 24th of last year while serving as a Jasper Police officer. The notice alleges that Drew was an employee of the Jasper Police Department at all times that pertain to this particular incident.

Evansville attorney Jared Michel Thomas has not elaborated further to date and there has not been a lawsuit officially filed up to this point. Typically, a defendent in a case like this would have 2 years from the alleged October date to file a lawsuit. Drew resigned from the Jasper Police Department back in March just before a meeting to decide if he would be fired was set to be held.

Due to Drew resigning, the city was not required to release any information surrounding why Drew was suspended with pay back on February 12th. According to public access laws in Indiana, disciplinary action information becomes public information in the event that an employee gets fired, demoted, or suspended with no pay.

The suspension of the 42-year-old Drew came following a recommendation of Jasper police chief Mike Bennett that Drew be fired. Bennett’s recommendation was made after information was gathered from both an internal investigation and an investigation conducted by Indiana State Police into the allegations.

Drew originally requested a hearing on his employment status back on February 18th and that hearing was held on March 7th in a closed session of the Jasper Board of Public Works. The state police investigation ended in February. At that time, the Dubois County Prosecutor’s office (who requested a special prosecutor) forwarded the file to the Martin County Prosecutor’s office to determine if any charges should be filed against Drew. To date, none have been filed in a Dubois County court.

Drew had at least 4 disciplinary actions taken against him since he began working for Jasper Police back in 2003. The earliest of these actions was in 2005 and the latest in November of last year. Two resulted in suspensions while the other two resulted in oral reprimands. The tort notice also alleged that Drew had other unspecified incidents of misconduct as a sheriff’s deputy in Greene County before he joined the Jasper police force.

City attorney Renee Kabrick says tort claim notices made against the city are forwarded to city liability insurance provider Governmental Interinsurance Exchange of Bloomington, IL. She says the city has no other information at this point to suggest that a lawsuit will be filed in the case.