Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Star Reports On Lacy Johnson DUI Arrest

It took them a week after area blogs first reported it, but the Star finally got around to reporting on the arrest of Lacy Johnson, III for driving while under the influence and public intoxication. Johnson, a principal partner in the controversial, proposed "private club/bar" in the Julia Carson Government Center, refused to take a breathalyzer test, which means his driver's license is automatically suspended for one year under Indiana law. The Star's Jon Murray writes:

The majority partner in a proposed bar in the Carson Government Center has been charged with driving while intoxicated and public intoxication.

Lacy Johnson III, 27, is leading a group of investors -- including his father, prominent attorney and chairman of the Indianapolis Airport Authority Lacy Johnson, and businessman Bill Mays -- in the controversial 300 East venture. The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission will consider a liquor license transfer Oct. 16, but construction on the restaurant and bar is complete at the center, 300 E. Fall Creek Parkway.

Johnson was pulled over at 1 a.m. Aug. 26 on Michigan Road near 68th Street after another driver waved her arms at a Marion County sheriff's deputy, according to a police report. Johnson said he had consumed three beers, the report said, and he consented to be taken in for a breath test.

But after he sat down in front of the device, Johnson would not take the test, the report said. In Indiana, refusing to take a breath test automatically results in a one-year suspension of a driver's license.

Musical chairs among superior court judges is being played in Johnson's case as two Democratic judges have already recused themselves from hearing Johnson's case. The maximum penalty Johnson could face is a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. He is being represented by attorney Dennis Zahn.

On another front, the Star's editors say today that Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer's failure to consult with the township's board is another reason to reject the proposed "private club/bar" in the Julia Carson Government Center. The editorial reads:

Here's one more reason the Metropolitan Development Commission on Wednesday should reject plans for a tavern at the Julia Carson Government Center: Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer did not consult the elected advisory board that
serves as the township's legislature.

Drummer allowed the investment group that would operate the bar to renovate space in the government center without even mentioning the project to advisory board members.

Drummer's spokesman, David Ayers, argues that the trustee is required to approach the board only for approval of a budget and the annual report. He also notes that the project does not involve spending township money.

But township property would be used to house a privately owned bar and restaurant. The fact that several close associates of Drummer have invested in the business should have made the need for outside consultation obvious to the trustee.

Instead, at least one advisory board member, Jon Elrod, learned of the controversial proposal through the news media.

Part of the problem lies with the board itself. It has met only 12 times in the past two years, according to Ayers. Elrod says the board failed to meet even after township residents raised serious questions about the proposed bar. "My experience on the board has been more than disappointing,'' Elrod says.

Yet, it was Drummer's responsibility to seek the advice of officials who represent Center Township residents. If anything, the board's approval of the project could have given the trustee some much-needed political cover.

That opportunity, however, was lost. Along with it should go the idea that the government center is an appropriate place for a private bar.

It seems to me that the Star's editorial today misses the more important issue. State law has specific procedures a local government executive must follow before he disposes or leases any government property. Those procedures were clearly not followed or the public would have been put on notice and, in certain circumstances, the township's fiscal body would have been required to approve the lease. Drummer's failure to follow state law for leasing township government represents official misconduct in office and he should be appropriately charged.


Anonymous said...

Did you expect any different from the Granma? Late and incomplete reporting. Yep that's the Granma these days.

Onward to November.

Anonymous said...

I have no hope for The Star any more. Thank God for AI, and the other blogs, who put information out there.

AI, is the "lease" portion of the disposal of public property, the same as "sale" ? I think the trustee believes he has to consult no one on a lease, only a sale.

This sorry episode is one more reason the township government system, a lame political fiefdom that sucks up money faster than a Hoover, should be exploded.

When you see bedfellows supporting township government, like Paul Ricketts and Carl Drummer, you know something's amiss. They're both making more money from the public than they ever could in the private sector. They drive township-provided cars (Drummer's is a Police Interceptor special, darkened windows, lights, siren, radio, the whole works...a police wannabe?) And they're jealously guarding their fiefdoms.

The township board up in Washington tried to cut the trustee's salary proportionately for 2007, because the trustee's main function, oversight of the Fire Dept. is gone after 1-1-07 (absorbed into IFD). The trustee there wouldn't hear of it.

Wake up, Indianapolis. We're throwing good moeny down a rat hole.

Wilson46201 said...

... so the GOP is now against grandmothers as well as against House pages?

but seriously, the Legislature removed the adjective "Advisory" from the Township Boards back in the 1980s. In this century, the Board has purely a budgetary role...

46038 said...

Do I have this right … A group of investors has dumped $500,000 into a renovation project of a government owned property -- an investment made which may now never see a penny’s return because specific lease procedures mAy not have been nailed down.

Seems to me that regardless of how this plays out it will be the residents of Center Township who stand everything to gain and nothing to lose. On the one hand, they could benefit from the opening of a new upscale business that will pay rent, hire employees, create commerce, pay taxes, etc. On the other, they are now the proud owners of a fabulous building makeover!

(In the interest of shameless self-promotion … if there are anymore like investors out there, we’d like to welcome you to makeover our home/property – no strings attached – anytime!)

Anonymous said...

That may be the best mug shot I've ever seen. Glamourshots, maybe?

Refusal to take a test, huh? He's got a top-=dollar defense atorney...wonder if he'll try to beat the rap? He was clocked speeding and DUI on Michigan Road, which is, by the way, a Speedway 24/7...

Is dad embarrassed? He SHOULD be.
The bar owner will have to be chaueffered to work at Carson Center. For a year.

Oh what a tangled web they weave, when first they practice to deceive...

Advance Indiana said...

There are specific statutory procedures for both sales and leases (i.e, publishing notice, obtaining appraisals, fiscal body approval, if more than $25,000, etc.) Drummer ignored this law.

Anonymous said...

Did he wear makeup to his police photo shoot?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lease/sale clarification, AI.

If Drummer indeed ignored the law, are the violations criminal?

If so, why isn't our erstwhile prosecutor prosecuting?

I'm told the good Mr. Drummer will be on Abdul's radio show tomorrow. What a hoot that oughta be. Trying to make a silk purse outta sow's ear.

And Wilson, the "Advisory" only went away in 1996 or 1998. The township board's budgetary role is a real one--if they don't approve a budgetary expense, it cannot be made. Still waitin' to hear who paid for the Ice Miller rezoning work. Hmmmmmm

Just here to annoy Wilson said...

"... so the GOP is now against grandmothers as well as against House pages?"

Wilson you really *ARE* stupid. In case you've been unconcious or biting a pillow, Granma is the name of the state run propaganda newspaper run by Cuba's Fidel Castro.

Anonymous said...

8:58 is so right. We need to do away with township trustee offices.

Mayor Peterson has been trying to get that done.

It's tough.

Like 8:58 points out, the 'police wannabe's' are a tough nut to crack.

This is an issue that ought to be spread around on the blogs. Maybe it can get some traction in the mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

Carl Drummer is the biggest wannabe of the lot. We Center Township taxpayers pay for him to ride around in a Crown Vic tricked out as an unmarked police car. He carries a Deputy Constable badge...there's anotehr office that needs to go the way of the horse 'n buggy.

Can't wait to hear Trustee Drummer's defense tomorrw morning on Abdul's radio show. This oughta be good.

Wilson46201 said...

as the Township Clerk from 1991 to 2004 with a duty of working with the Township Board, I know for a certainty the adjective "Advisory" was deleted by the Legislature before 1990 - that deletion was quite noted by the Board and Trustee.

The dead hand of history often weighs heavily on the present - oldtimers sometimes still call it the Advisory Board - incorrectly.

Wilson46201 said...

"been unconcious or biting a pillow,"

is that you again Jocelyn with your hateful GOP homophobia again?

Dickerson doesnt play that game, homie...

Jocelyn-Tandy Adande said...

Response to Wilson:

My comments have my name on them!