Broken Heart: The Elkhart Police Saga Part 2

Broken Heart: The Elkhart Police Saga Part 2

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ELKHART, Ind. - ABC57’s exclusive series Broken Heart: The Elkhart Police Saga continues.

View Part 1 here.

Recall, Elkhart Police Lt. Carl Conway is accused of lying under oath in a murder case in which he served as a detective. Andrew Royer was convicted of murder and spent more than a decade and a half in prison before Conway's alleged perjury was uncovered. Royer was exonerated and is currently a free man. 

We are presenting you newly obtained information from Elkhart Police Lt. Carl Conway’s personnel file, which ABC57 Investigates obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In his file, there are several commendations and letters of appreciation as part of Conway’s more than 20 years of service at the Elkhart Police Department. But there’s also disciplinary records, and as we learned, his file doesn’t include every time Carl Conway found himself in trouble.  

The personnel file for Lt. Carl Conway is nearly 40 pages long, but there are only three pages of Conway’s disciplinary record.  

Those three pages refer to incidents where Conway “misrepresented material facts," which were the findings of the department's internal review process.

One incident occurred back in July 2020. The documents say Conway lied about witnessing a detective leave the police station early. According to the report, Conway said he saw the detective leave early first-hand, but he actually viewed it on an internal camera after someone else told him about it.

Conway received a one-day suspension.

In a letter, Conway defended himself, admitting while he didn’t witness it first-hand, he did see the detective leave early in the video

In the course of the investigation, the department also found Conway failed to document an unfounded complaint in the jail (which still requires documentation per police policy), saying despite his two decades as a detective for Elkhart Police, he had never been trained to document complaints.  

But Conway's personnel file, which we got through that records request is incomplete because Conway has faced disciplinary action more times.

How do we know this if it’s not in Conway’s file? Because Elkhart Police Chief Kris Seymore publicly listed Conway’s disciplinary record in the Police Merit Commission’s September 13 public agenda in a letter to Conway.  

Here’s some of what Chief Seymore listed in reference to Conway's past discipline:

  • May 2005 – Conway received a written reprimand after showing up 15 days late for a random drug test.   
  • December 2005 – Conway again received a written reprimand for using a fellow officer’s pin number to make multiple long-distance calls to his girlfriend. 
  • May 2011 – Conway lied to a fellow officer to get another in-experienced officer to attend a meeting about a sex crime unit.  

We asked Elkhart Police if there are more disciplinary reports involving Conway. The department did not answer that question, but we were told “written reprimands are not released.”  

I asked Elkhart's Mayor and Chief Seymore if discipline has been a continuous problem at the Elkhart Police Department.

"Do you think, at times, there’s been a culture problem at the Elkhart Police Department?" we asked Seymore.   

"At times, yes," Chief Seymore replied.

We asked the same question to the mayor.   

"I think there were some concerns inside the community when I ran, and we’re in the process of ensuring that any of that perception that existed before doesn’t exist as we move forward in the future," Mayor Rod Roberson said.

But Conway isn’t the only officer to face termination.

This past summer, two officers were accused of stealing money, among other things, from an elderly man. We’ve got their disciplinary records and, on Wednesday night, we'll give you a closer look at what happened.

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