If you don't believe me that such a law exists, just ask former Indiana Clerk of the Courts Dwayne Brown, who was convicted of 7 counts of ghost employment, even with Jim Voyles as his defense attorney. While Brown served as Clerk of the Court, he actively campaigned for two other elected jobs--Attorney General and Congress. According to a Court of Appeals opinion affirming his conviction, the facts were as follows:
Each of the seven counts of the indictment charged that Brown had used state employees, while they were being compensated by the State, in furtherance
of his political campaigns as proscribed by the ghost employment statute, Ind.Code 35-44-2-4(b), which reads as follows: A public servant who knowingly or intentionally assigns to an employee under his supervision any duties not related to the operation of the governmental entity that he serves commits ghost employment, a Class D felony.
The first three counts of the indictment involved a state employee hired by Brown in 1992. At the time this employee was hired, Brown told her that she would be working on his campaign. Brown told others in the office that this employee did not need to be trained to perform any of the office duties because she would be doing political work. During the first week of work, Brown requested that this employee attend the movie "The Pelican Brief" with him during office hours to allow her to learn more about the political and legal process. After that first week of work, Brown directed that the employee receive a $2,500.00 bonus from the State. Brown also requested this employee to attend a political fund raising event on his behalf during office hours. Finally, Brown directed this employee to spend office hours drawing sketches which were to have been used for Brown's campaign posters.
The fourth and fifth counts of the indictment pertain to another state employee hired by Brown to serve in a position described as "press secretary intern." Brown assigned this employee, during office hours, to research the voting record of the incumbent U.S. Representative Brown had hoped to unseat. Brown also directed this employee to attend a fund raising event held for his benefit on a Saturday for which the employee was compensated by the State at the rate of $50.00 per hour.
The sixth and seventh counts of the indictment relate to an incident in which Brown directed two other state employees to accompany him on a trip, during office hours, to Monroe County where he participated in a debate-style luncheon in conjunction with his campaign for Attorney General. One of these employees was directed to take notes regarding the other candidates' speeches and performances.
Now, let me first note that Brown's first mistake was crossing both the Bayh folks and the Julia Carson folks at the same time by stepping ahead of their candidates for the AG's office and Andy Jacob's congressional seat, respectively. That alone made him a marked man, although it doesn't excuse his criminal wrongdoing in office. You will see the ghost employment charges against Brown centered around the work of others Brown supervised. Nobody accused him of not performing the job to which he was elected, although there was evidence he was performing legal work on the side. And none of the employees performing political work on state time were charged with a crime.
In Gray's case, his immediate supervisor is IFD chief Jim Greeson, who is supervised by Mayor Bart Peterson. We know from earlier Star reports that not only does Gray get paid to do work as a CCC member and CCC President, but he also operates a concrete company, which he failed to properly disclose on his statement of economic interest has contracts with other contractors performing work on publicly-funded projects. Gray also admitted to the Star he is away from his IFD office a good part of the time during the day, driving his IFD-issued take-home car.
So I ask Kurt Webber and the Marion Co. Republicans, why aren't you accusing Gray of acting inappropriately? It seems to me he is every bit as guilty of ghost employment as Dwayne Brown was. The real question is why hasn't a grand jury already been convened and Mssrs. Gray, Greeson and Peterson called before it to testify about how a man can draw two public salaries and run a concrete business but can't produce evidence he performs any work for his full-time, $83,000 a year job? If the Lawrence Township Trustee can be indicted for theft over a $500 expenditure, surely our prosecutor can indict someone for the misappropriation of funds involving far more money and far more serious wrongdoing.