Sunday, December 02, 2007

Attorney: County Will Appeal Race Discrimination Decision

Rob Schneider's front-page story in today's Star quotes Marion County's attorney, Jim Osborn, as saying the county will appeal an administrative law judge decision finding the office discriminated against former Chief Deputy Coroner John Linehan when it first demoted and later fired him in December, 2005. "We think [the administrative law judge] got it wrong, and we are going to do everything we can to challenge it," Osborn told Schneider.

"It just confirmed my whole allegation that this guy has systematically destroyed the lives and careers of so many people," Schneider quotes Linehan as saying Saturday. Schneider sought comment from Dr. Ackles, but he did not return his phone calls. Ballew told Schneider she was surprised by the decision. "Ballew, who is black, said Saturday she has not had a chance to read the opinion but was surprised by the judge's language," Schneider wrote. "She insisted she had no agenda to bring in anyone."

I'm hoping the Star does a more in-depth follow-up story. There are so many important facts in that decision which sheds light on just how badly the Coroner's Office is being run, laying aside the race discrimination which is occurring within the office. Equally important, the decision vindicates John Linehan. I've met John and talked to many others, including former Coroner John McGoff and his former supervisor, Francis Kelly, who have worked with him. They will all tell you John is one of the finest and most dedicated public servants you will ever find working in government. John had earned the right to run for county coroner in 2004, and Marion County Democrats initially planned to slate him. Party leaders at the last minute demanded an African-American candidate and the experienced deputy coroner was shoved aside in favor of an unqualified chiropractor. Nonetheless, John backed his party's candidate and provided helpful advice to him during his campaign. What Dr. Ackles and Ms. Ballew later did to him in return is something nobody should have to endure.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The appeal won't fly. In the ugly end of this sordid mess is the fact that the taxpayers in Marion County are out nearly a half million bucks.
Partison politics is one thing but blatant racism is something else entirely.
For every move forward our African American community leaders take in this city they take three steps backwards.
Remove the coroner from being an elected official to that of an appointed official who must meet stringent professional requirements to be be selected.

Curiosity said...

When "Bones" took over, there was widespread concern that his leadership would drive the Coroner's Office into total disarray. This discrimination issues aside, what is the current state of affairs over there?

harry callahan said...

Great reporting,Gary! I suspect we will not be seeing any hard-hitting reports from the mainstream media though. The Stars' brief, non-substantive article today will likely be all we get. There is so much more to the story of corruption in the coroners office, and hopefully it will culminate with criminal charges being filed.

The current speculation is that Carl Brizzi has been waiting on this ruling before he goes forth with the investigation his office has been doing.

There are numerous instances of certain people in that office stealing articles and money from the dead. And lets not forget about the murder victim/reported missing person that was disposed of and cremated without the police ever being notified.The victim had severe head trauma from a beating and was last seen by witnesses being taken away at gunpoint. One of Dr. Ackles funeral service contractors took care of this little deed. All of this is well documented. I believe Jack Rinehart did the story on it about the time Brizzi announced his investigation.

Advance Indiana said...

"The current speculation is that Carl Brizzi has been waiting on this ruling before he goes forth with the investigation his office has been doing."

Someone has more confidence in Brizzi's prosecution of public corruption than I currently have. His office has been sitting on a lot of evidence for more than a year. He seems more interested in chasing the TV cameras. Today's story is Tajanay Bailey so his office will focus on the tragic circumstances of her death as long as the media keeps the story on the front pages. His office ignored evidence of corruption in the Center Township Trustee's office, and he's apparently ignoring all the evidence of corruption in the Coroner's Office.

Anonymous said...

Throwing good money after bad...pay up and clean up the office.....you can't count on Brizzi.....he has been a total wimp on many tough issues........he is an empty suit.

Anonymous said...

Brizzi hasn't done anything since we saw him with the grand jury investigators serving a search warrant at "Bones" Ackles' office.

Brizzi has not done anything about Monroe Gray being the most flaunted ghost employee in the State of Indiana.

Brizzi has not done anything with the Center Twp corruption.

Brizzi has not touched the Conflict of Interest, Racketeering, and/or bribery investigation into Lacy Johnson, Carl Drummer, Monroe Gray, et al

Brizzi is undercharging criminals and "no-filing" more cases than any modern day prosecutor....and that's why things are so bad.

Anonymous said...

And Brizzi ignored the illegal numbers racket and black organized crime in Indianapolis for how long?
$5,000 bond and a fine?
Maybe we need a Special Prosecutor to put away our Prosecutor.

Wilson46201 said...

...and you-all so eagerly supported Carl Brizzi for Prosecutor -- kinda like you-all so eagerly supported Greg "Flip-Flop" Ballard.

You rank&file Republicans need to wear asbestos clothes election day so you don't get burned too badly again...

Anonymous said...

Wilson, I am a good Democrat but.....an effective prosecutor would have indicted 3 or 4 or our Demo officeholders....as horrible as Brizzi is, we have benefitted from it....it is time that you and I as active pary Democrats help clean house of corruption and ignorance in our own party....the voters took care of part of that in the election......No more Ron Gibson and no more of Monroe Gray being council president. We must make sure that he is not elected minority leader now......actually I would like to see him in jail...he cost us the mayor's office and control of the council.

harry callahan said...

Speculation does not translate into confidence. We're on the same page when it comes to Brizzi's lack of prosecutorial integrity.

Anonymous said...

Brizzi doesnt have the ba**s that God gave him. Carl, please just resign, and let someone that has intestinal fortitude run that office. What a coward.

Kevin in Indy said...

In my job, I've had contact numerous times with these fine folks in the Coroner's office. I have never met a more incompetant bunch than these people. When talking with LEO's and Coroner's from other counties, they all laugh and shake their heads when the topic of the Marion County Coroner's office comes up.fk

garyj said...

I agree with AI. Brizzi will do NOTHING in regards to the corruption in Marion County, unless he can get on TV while doing it.
He has a lot of evidence on a lot of people, yet he knows the Media in this city will not publicize any action taken against an elected official, unless that official is a Republican.

Wilson.... answer these...
Did Melina have an active liscense to practice law? Has Melina EVER tried a case, prosecute or defend?
You too scared to answer HONESTLY, without making up some rationalizations? BTW, Greg hasn't "flipflopped" any more than Bart did! And Bart put his LIES in writing.(PETERSON PLAN I & II)
Well, Has she???? Simple yes or no will suffice.
She would have been no better than Brizzi is now!

Anonymous said...

Oh for Christ's sake GaryJ, Melina has been licensed to practice law for some time. Her courtroom prosecution experience, as she was forced to admit, is practically zero.

Give up that tired old dreg already. It cost her an election, she's moved on, we've all moved on. You should try it.

Brizzi's courtoom experience isn't much better. And he's allowed a lot of public corruption stuff to go unprosecuted. I don't know the reason, but I am completely aware of one case which was handed to him with a red ribbon, and he's done nothing for over a year.

Right about now I'd take anyone over Brizzi.

And, for whatever it's worth, Gary, I have been told at Democratic party functions recently, Ackles has informed anyone who'll listen, that he'll run again in 08.

As if my party didn't have enough nonsense to worry about.

garyj said...

I asked Wilson, not you! But since you chimed in , I agree with you . ANYONE who would actuially do the job, would be a welcome change.

Melina DID NOT have an active liscense at the time she was running.
practically zero ??? It was and still is ZERO.
Would she prosecute the corruption in Marion County? Probably not! Neither will Brizzi!
And I have moved on!, Wilson brought it up!!! Now he's too ashamed to answer!
I'm just glad, like you, that we won't have Brizzi again!