LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

New Albany Police officer speaks out about alleged violations


A New Albany police officer is speaking out after being found in violation of two standard operating procedures after he was accused of making a racist comment in January.

On Sept. 24, the New Albany Police Department Merit Commission announced their findings after a lengthy process to decide the fate of Officer Jack Messer. During an afternoon press conference Friday, the Merit Commission discussed the two violations.

Messer tells WAVE 3 News after 26 years of serving the community, he'll do whatever it takes to clear his name.

"I'm not going to go down easy, labeled my last year on the department as a racist," Messer said.

The first violation was in January 2010 during a NAPD roll call. With several officers present, Messer was accused of making the following statement in reference to African Americans:

"The worst thing we ever did was to give those people their civil rights."

Messer responded: "We thought we presented a good case."

Messer is talking about a September 9, disciplinary hearing, when the officer tried to explain his comment. Messer made the following statement during his testimony about what he was trying to say:

"Blacks have equal rights, but they've been held back by welfare and government housing.

Apparently the Merit Commission didn't buy that argument.

"The New Albany Police Department shall not engage in activity unbecoming a police officer. The evidence substantiates part of the complaint," said Bob Duche, president of the NAPD Merit Commission.

Dustin White, attorney for the New Albany NAACP, said now that Messer has been found guilty of certain infractions, they expect he would see some sort of punishment.

Messer's second violation is what the commission says is abuse of sick leave. From April 7 to June 3, 2010, Messer was supposed to be home sick with a bad back. According to the Merit Commission, Messer was actually out doing work for his wife's lawn service company.

He told us he's disappointed in the commission's findings.

"I was investigated by my supervisors and the chief of police, and found not to have committed any violation of Standard Operating Procedure or any other crimes," Messer said.

Messer contends the whole investigation is politically motivated because he's spoken publicly about wanting to be the New Albany Mayor.

Messer vows not to give up.

"I fought on the street to stay alive and I'm still a fighter, that's what I do," Messer said.

The next step is a penalty phase. The punishments Messer is facing could range from no action to dismissal.

It will be open to the public, but a date has not been set yet. Duche said he wants to schedule it as soon as possible.