GOSHEN — A Goshen Police officer who admitted to drunken driving while off-duty has resigned after he did not hold up his end of a bargain with the city.
Brody Brown, 24, is resigning effective Oct. 3, after a little more than three years with the Goshen Police Departmen . He was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, after his arrest by another Goshen officer on Dec. 14.
The arresting officer was drawn to the area northwest of the city by what he thought was the sound of gunfire, and found Brown in a vehicle with two other off-duty officers, one with Goshen police and one with the city of Elkhart.
Brown pleaded guilty in January in an agreement that included a 60-day suspended jail term, 12 months of reporting probation and a 30-day driver’s license suspension. He also had to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation and follow-up treatment during his probation period.
In February, the Goshen Board of Works imposed a 50-day unpaid suspension from work, as well as requirements that Brown attend an alcohol education program and have his driver's license reinstated before he can return to work.
In approving the resignation Monday, Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said Brown hadn't completed the terms of his agreement with the city.
"The reason this resignation has come to the city, is Officer Brown did not honor the agreement that we made back in February, after the incident of drinking and driving," he said. "And he did not complete any of the items that were mandatory, so he is now resigning from the City of Goshen."
No other charges
An on-duty Goshen officer was alerted to Brown's vehicle when he heard what sounded like two gunshots coming from the underpass at U.S. 33 and C.R. 17 around 1:45 a.m. The two other police officers who were passengers in Brown's vehicle, Kyle Kalb with the Goshen department and Leonard Dolshenko with Elkhart, were not charged in the incident.
Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney Vicki Becker cited an "insufficient police response" with respect to the possible gunshots when she announced that no other charges would be filed. She said her office lacked "admissible evidence to discern whether a criminal act actually occurred, or who the actual offender may be ... due to the lack of appropriate investigation at the time of the suspected offense."
Dolshenko was allowed to return to active duty after that announcement.
The Goshen Police Department held its own investigation into the incident. The ranking officer involved, Capt. Michael Miller, accepted a demotion to patrolman and Kalb resigned after the internal investigation determined he had fired the shots.
According to Becker, Brown told responding officers that he didn't know which passenger had fired a gun, and both Kalb and Dolshenko refused to respond when Miller asked them about it. Rather than securing the passengers and the truck to further the investigation, Miller moved the truck from the roadway to a nearby parking lot and told Kalb and Dolshenko to get a ride home.
No further attempts were made at the time to locate or secure evidence from the two officers, though officers from different agencies searched along the roadway and grassy areas south of the underpass for ammunition casings or other evidence of shots being fired. They found nothing after several hours.
Goshen Police Chief Jose Miller said the procedural mistakes made by supervisors were because of their disbelief that one of their own officers was potentially responsible for the gunfire. He said he understood how not following procedure resulted in insufficient evidence to pursue other charges, and called it a failure by the department.