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Elkhart cop Carl Conway, who committed perjury that contributed to wrongful conviction, resigns

Courtesy of Elkhart Police Department

Elkhart Police Department lieutenant Carl Conway submitted his resignation Wednesday, one week before a scheduled disciplinary hearing to remove him from the force.

Conway’s hearing was originally scheduled for this week, but he requested a continuance to next week, which was granted. But in a news release, the department said Conway submitted his resignation Wednesday, effective Friday, Oct. 8.

The resignation was unexpected and not part of any agreement with Police Chief Kris Seymore, the police merit commission or Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson, the department said.

Seymore had recommended Conway be fired after a state court found earlier this year that he committed perjury when describing the interrogation of Andrew Royer, a mentally disabled man who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2002.

Royer was exonerated this July after spending 16 years in prison.

Conway was the detective who interviewed Royer, who gave a false confession to the murder following two days of mostly unrecorded interrogation.

He was promoted to lieutenant in the years following the case, but has been on administrative leave since April 14, 2021 — six days after the state court ruled he committed perjury.

In the news release, Chief Seymore said “the objectives of the disciplinary process have been achieved.” Since Conway has resigned, the disciplinary hearing has been cancelled.

In a statement, Mayor Roberson said he "stood behind Chief Seymore's decision to pursue the termination of Lt. Conway."

"The actions Seymore has taken to hold members of the Elkhart Police Department accountable for their actions is exactly why I selected him to be the chief of our police department," Roberson said in the statement. "I echo the chief's comments that the objectives of the disciplinary process have been achieved and as a city, and as a department, we are committed to a culture of high-performance and accountability for the officers of the EPD."

This story has been updated to include a statement from Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson.

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Jakob Lazzaro came to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.