SOUTH BEND – There’s breaking news in the wiretapping scandal involving the South Bend Police Department.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is asking a federal judge to determine whether the controversial recorded phone calls at the department should be released.
Buttigieg has said all along he wants to do this by the books, so he’s making it official by calling upon a judge.
The scandal started in March when the recordings led to the demotion of Police Chief Darryl Boykins and the firing of the police department’s Communications Director Karen DePaepe.
The mayor says it’s illegal to release the tapes and cites the Federal Wiretap Act.
The man who wrote that law also says it’s illegal, but South Bend Common Council members keep arguing that the tapes need to be released.
Buttigieg says if the judge gives him a green light, it will be a lot easier for him to move forward in this case.
“This is the best way we have to balance the interests of all the parties involved to make sure that we’re as responsive to the council as we can to work with them to get information out to anybody who needs it but also to remain within the limits that are prescribed by federal law,” said the mayor.
The council subpoenaed the mayor some three weeks ago, asking him to release the tapes.
Council attorney Spence Walton tells WSBT he is disappointed with the mayor’s decision. He says this is just a delay in reaching a conclusion in this case.