Monday, August 27, 2007

Council Democrats Block Investigation Of Gray

Democratic members of the City-County Council succeeded in blocking a legislative proposal to investigate City-County Council President Monroe Gray's financial ties to a concrete company he owns but originally failed to disclose on his statement of economic interest. The Rules & Public Policy Committee sent Proposal 182 to the full council with a 4-2 recommendation to strike the proposal. Councilor Rozelle Boyd, chairman of the Rules & Public Policy Committee, argued that Gray's subsequent amendment to his statement of economic interest, as instructed by the Ethics Board, cleared the matter. Council Minority Leader Phil Borst disagreed with the Committee's finding, arguing that the Ethics Board had failed to look into allegations Gray had received compensation for work performed for United Water as a subcontractor on a city-financed project. Borst contended the Ethics Board only looked into the issue of gifts Gray may have received. He also found claims by Gray that he had not performed work for United Water as reported in the Star dubious.

When the full council voted, absent the recently-resigned Democratic Councilor Patrice Abduallah (D), on a motion to strike the investigation of Gray, an indecisive 13-13 vote was reached. Gray abstained from voting on the matter. Councilor Borst then offered a motion to pass Proposal 182 as introduced, which the Council's legal counsel, Aaron Haith, declared out of order. Borst objected to Haith rendering a ruling on the matter since he was also serving as Gray's personal attorney, arguing Haith had a clear conflict of interest on the matter. Councilor Joanne Sanders, who presided for purposes of the motion, allowed Borst's motion to go forward. It, too, ended in an indecisive 13-13 vote. As it now stands, Proposal 182 is in limbo until either side can muster the votes to either approve or defeat the proposed investigation of Gray.

15 comments:

Buzzy Whitlow said...

WAIT A MINUTE! Gray was allowed to abstain?? Did Vern Brown call HIM a coward??
JUSTICE DEPT WHERE ARE YOU??

Anonymous said...

I don't follow things that close but how did Haith ever get the clout to get appointed as council attorney, in light of the prior sanction in 97?

Sir Hailstone said...

Buzzy - Gray rightfully abstained as the proposal was directly aimed at him.

All we'd get out of a Gray vote would the ability to yell "COVER UP!!".

Anonymous said...

Haith is a member of the Ghetto Mafia. He, along with Lacy Johnson, is their attorney.

Anonymous said...

I'm not up on my robert's rules of order, but how can a non-councilor intervene like this?

Advance Indiana said...

Haith is parliamentarian for the council. He was asked for a ruling by the chair.

Anonymous said...

Well, under Robert's Revised Rules (1989), the parliamentarian can offer advice to the chair, but the chair rules.

Thus the chair's ruling would be sustained or rejected (overruled).

That is, if we had a council attorney who fully knew the procedure, instead of attempting to surround the situation with his own interpretation.

This is ugly.

Advance Indiana said...

As I indicated, Joanne Sanders chose to ignore Haith's ruling and allowed Borst's motion to approve the proposal to proceed.

Angry Republican said...

AI is correct. Unless the council's rules say otherwise, and if Robert's is their parliamentary authority (which I understand that it is), the parliamentarian (in this case, Mr. Haith) issued his opinion on the matter. The presiding officer at that time, Councilwoman Sanders, allowed the proposal to be considered. She ruled on the matter, not Mr. Haith.

AR

Sir Hailstone said...

By the way - Lance Langsford was also absent this evening.

Anonymous said...

Fox guarding the hen house? This is getting old!

When will the FBI get involved with this joke of an administration?

Anonymous said...

Gary,
I'm hearing rumors that vern brown is holding a full time job with the health department along with his fire dept. gig.
does anyone have that web page where their salaries are listed?

Sir Hailstone said...

That was listed on the IndyStar webpage, and As I Recall, it was last year's salaries paid.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if the Vern Brown stories are true, pal...but there are two Vern Browns, so be careful.

Anonymous said...

There are two Vernon Browns on the city wesite.
One works for the fire dept.
One for the health dept.
I almost made that mistake.