Monday, June 6, 2011

What's Going On at the Department of Public Safety?

Frank Straub, the current head of the Department of Public Safety, has taken a hands-on approach during his time at the department. He has vastly increased the department's control over the departments it oversees, including expanding DPS' actual office and the staff. Straub has constantly been in the headlines since before his tenure began. Initially, some in the Marion County Republican Liberty Caucus, including it's founder Elizabeth Karlson, opposed Straub's nomination due to some pro-gun control comments he has made and the mysterious circumstances he left his previous job in White Plains, New York. Karlson later found that she was persona-non-grata within the county GOP with her ward chairmanship yanked by Carmel resident and then-Washington Township Chairman David Brooks. Karlson has since left the Republican party and now works as a ward chairman within the Libertarian Party of Marion County.

Straub's name has been in the headlines moreso than probably all of his predecessors combined, and that's because he doesn't understand the purpose of the department, which is purely administrative and is supposed to communicate the needs of DPS departments to the 25th floor. Instead, he has used it to essentially micromanage each department, including the horribly underfunded Animal Control and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Initially, Straub was confirmed by the City-County Council 27-0. In late 2010, he narrowly was re-confirmed by the City-County Council. In a year, the support for Straub (or at least the benefit of the doubt) has completely evaporated. He has bungled everything he has touched. It's like he's Mayor Ballard's version of Mitch Roob, who has screwed up several projects working at the state level for Governor Mitch Daniels.

Both Gary Welsh and Terry Burns have articles detailing the exodus of workers coming out from the Department of Public Safety. I wonder when the mainstream media will start talking.


  1. I normally don't give the local media much credit, but they are keeping an eye on dr. dir. Straub, even if not saying much on air. I know they're talking about it in newsrooms behind the scenes. He's on a very short leash.

  2. I hope you're right Chris. I know Russ McQuaid is a watchdog on these types of issues. Hopefully he's just getting his ducks in a row before issuing a full report.


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