Nytes is currently seeking re-election to a third term on the council. She is running unopposed. Some may ask if Peterson is not planning to reward Nytes with the high-paying position in consideration for the political work she has been doing for him on the council. Printing Partners, a firm owned by Nytes' husband, has already been rewarded handsomely by the Peterson administration with printing contracts with the city and county. If she becomes the library's new CEO, will she resign as a city councilor? She found no conflict of interest in serving as the library's CFO and a member of the council so we can't assume she will resign. If she were to resign, it will mean yet another unelected person will be allowed to serve out a full term on the council.
The library also presents a conflict of interest for Republican Councilor Ryan Vaughn. He works for the law firm of Tabbert Hahn, which has come under heavy fire for its handling of the library board's legal matters, particularly the costly litigation surrounding the construction of the central library. The library has shelled out more than $5 million in legal fees on the litigation to date according to a story by Jon Murray in today's Star. Vaughn's firm has its own conflict problems. It was criticized after an earlier Star investigation uncovered the fact that the firm had contracted for the services of one of the Board's members, Gary Meyer, in an unrelated matter. The firm has now been admonished by a judge in the ongoing litigation for representing one of the contractors with whom the library once had a legal dispute in the proceeding adverse to other contractors. Murray writes of the conflict:
Charlier Clark & Linard, an inspector on the project, argued in filings that Tabbert Hahn Earnest & Weddle also was acting as the attorney for Woollen Molzan, a conflict of interest.
The Indianapolis architects reached a $580,000 settlement agreement with the library last year.
The law firm said it was pursuing interests assigned by Woollen Molzan's settlement -- including disputes with the architect's consultants -- but wasn't representing the company itself.
In an order Thursday, [Special Judge Matthew] Kincaid denied the inspector's motion. But he admonished the library's lawyers for going too far when they represented Woollen Molzan officials during a deposition. The judge urged the architects to hire their own lawyer.
It looks to me like the self-dealing and general incompetence that has persisted with the management of the library will continue unabated for some time unless there is a change in the mayor's office this year. The library needs a completely new management team, a new board and new law firm to turn this mess around.