Saturday, December 29, 2007

Scott Newman Is Public Safety Director

Well, the disappointment continues. Mayor-elect Greg Ballard announced to a group of supporters at the Indianapolis firefighters hall on Massachusetts Avenue that he had named former Marion Co. Prosecutor Scott Newman as the Director of Public Safety, giving him line authority over the police and fire departments. You may recall a previous post about how well a DNA testing firm, of which Newman is a part-owner and CEO, called Strand Analytical Laboratories was doing in snagging government contracts, including those with state and local law enforcement agenices like the Marion County Forensic Services Agency. The firm has won generous tax abatements and other government benefits. If I'm not mistaken, that agency would fall under the direction of the Public Safety Director. A source tells me that reporters quickly pounced on that question at Mayor-elect Ballard's announcement, and he was assured Newman would be taking steps to ensure an arms-length business relationship continued, if it ever existed.

On another note, Newman took no action as Marion County Prosecutor to shut down the illegal pea shake houses. Yesterday, Ballard named Rev. Olgen Williams as Deputy Mayor of neighborhoods. Williams kept close association with members of the black clergy, who weren't to be heard clamoring for a shutdown of the illegal gambling establishments which plagued many troubled black neighborhoods. Does anyone still believe anything is going to change under the new mayor on the issue of pea shake houses?

Here's what the Star is reporting on how Newman plans to deal with his obvious conflict of interest with his business:

Newman is stepping away from the daily operations of his laboratory business, including giving back profits derived from local government, and putting his stock in the company in a trust to avoid any conflict of interest.

"I've lived my life to go where I think I can do the most good, and I think I can do the most good here," he said. "I like to win. Mayor-elect Ballard likes to win. And we are going to win this war on crime."

And Mayor-elect Ballard confirms the police chief will report to Newman and not him if he gets his way. As explained in the Star:

The public safety director position has been criticized in the past by several Republicans for not having much power, especially in regard to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Some questioned whether there was a need for the position.

However, Ballard said Saturday that he believed there is a need for the post, and he plans on asking the City-County Council to place operation of the Police Department under the mayor's office, with the police chief reporting to Newman.

39 comments:

Bart Lies said...

Yes.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone still believe anything is going to change under the new mayor on the issue of pea shake houses?"

Well, AI, we just don't know what he's going to do, do we? He hasn't taken office yet! Good god!

Anonymous said...

I am so underwhelmed by the news.

Anonymous said...

Newman is actually a great choice. He was a solid prosecutor. He respected the police and as far as I know that went both ways. This is a heavyweight choice for a serious job.

Anonymous said...

Just more business as usual. The circus guy was right. A new succer is born every minute.

indyernie said...

I asked Newman that same question today. In front of media and numerous other witnesses he said that he would shut the pea shakes down.

Lets give the guy a chance Gary, if nothing happens I will be one of the first to call him out.

Anonymous said...

If he wants to shut down the pea shakes, it's gonna be an interesting theater between him and Olgen.

Bart Lies said...

Sour grapes is evidently a crop that never goes out of season in this town.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you will Indyernie. Just like US District Attorney Susan Brooks did when we laid a mountain of evidence on her desk.
If you want to bring a knife to a gunfight have at it.

Ballard's dealing from the bottom of the deck and some people are too caught up in their own post election bravado to see it.

I'm not slammin' you Earnie but damn! Look at what's coming down with these appoitments for cryin' out loud. Is this what we busted are asses for? Is this what we put our homes,neighborhoods and jobs on the line for?

I had enough of the Peterson Downtown Klan and the Ghetto Mafia and Ballard's putting them all back together again. You really think Olgen Williams gives a shit about a white guy on the east side or any other white voters for that matter?

Anonymous said...

It's not sour grapes Bart Lies, it's the political reality of Ballard's appointments.
We're getting no better than we had before, maybe worse.

Advance Indiana said...

IndyErnie, call me cynical, but Newman had 8 years to prove himself and he didn't get the job done in my book. Maybe I should believe he's since had a life-changing event take place on the road to Damascus and will do something different now. It also brings up this chain of command issue Ballard talked about. If Newman is truly going to have a substantive role, that is going to put Newman between the mayor and the police chief. It seems to defeat the purpose of reducing the number of bosses to have a director of public safety, let alone a director of Latino affairs, minority business development, et al. That's PC bullshit, and I thought a Republican mayor would understand that. It's a complete waste of taxpayers dollars to create these phony bureaucratic positions to appease a small segment of the community which likes to exploit their ethnicity, skin color, etc. for personal gain.

birdy said...

I have to think that Newman was a good way for the old guard to get someone who knew them and "the way things work" in the city on the inside and with the big firms and corps. None of the other appointees have any municipal government experience. A few have state govt experience, but it's limited and also it's a different world. Newman no doubt know the ropes with "the players"

The transition team group for Public Safety was Toby McClamorch from BmcH, Deb Daniels from KDV and gubernatorial siblinghood, Ken Kobe from B&T, and Ed Sagebiel from Lilly. Pretty big firm insider crowd--though so were most of the 100+ on the T Team.

Anonymous said...

Get over it already, Gary! Just because you think you should have been appointed to some make-work, do-nothing job, that everyone else is going to do a lousy job.
What position did you want?
Why didn't you apply?
What makes you better than the rest?


Give the people a chance. I'm sure that indyernie will call Newman out if something isn't done in a timely manner. Results will not happen overnight.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to get in to this bull crap bitch session over who got appointed and all.

But I will tell you this, if Ballard and his team (AFTER they are sworn in) don't start shutting down the pea shakes and cleaning up these establishments I will be calling his office. Time for rubber to hit the road!

indyernie said...

Scott Newman was a strong prosecutor, Ballard will be a law and order Mayor. IMPD will fall back under the control of the Mayor and ...I'm sure that we will see a difference in Indianapolis.
I don't think it will be necessary but if things don't change we can as a large voice and as individuals make a lot of noise. We have a strong group of connected activist. Taxes weren't the only concerns and crime is at the top of the list.
Ballard heard the voters, changes will happen.
Relax, put your feet up, eat some cake and watch an old movie. We have a Marine in charge everything will be OK.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Oliver North a Marine too?

Anonymous said...

"If Newman is truly going to have a substantive role, that is going to put Newman between the mayor and the police chief. It seems to defeat the purpose of reducing the number of bosses to have a director of public safety, let alone a director of Latino affairs, minority business development, et al. That's PC bullshit, and I thought a Republican mayor would understand that."

Amen!

IPDCOP said...

"IndyErnie, call me cynical, but Newman had 8 years to prove himself and he didn't get the job done in my book."

Your book? What the hell does that mean? Newman was a fair, honest, well respected, and dedicated prosecutor. Why wouldn't that qualify him to be appointed as the public safety director? Would you rather have "Hi My Name Is Earl" still sitting there doing absolutely nothing?

What qualifications would satisfy you, or are you still just crying like a little school girl because Ballard didn't get on his knees and beg you to work for him? You should have applied, Gary. Get over yourself already!

Anonymous said...

Susan Brooks protected the Pea Shake Houses and was rewarded for it. Her Husband is a major racist and so is Susan Brooks. Scott Newman is nothing but an old guard politican put in place to make money for the law firms. The real disappointment is Greg Ballard! This guy is simply stupid! No other explanation required!

Anonymous said...

How can all of these lowlife has beens and crooks make a change....is it too early to start an impeach Ballard movement and how do we do that

GREG LIES GREG LIES GREG LIES GREG LIES get used to it because bumper stickers are already being printed and t shirts will be available soon...this guy is loser.,..why did we ever trust him
...

Anonymous said...

Newman, like Goldsmith before him, made a deal with the devil in an attempt to win support in the black community for their respective campaigns. That is why neither of these prosecutors did anything about the pea shake houses. Also, ask Newman why he covered up the Irsay prescription drug scandal WTHR uncovered.

Anonymous said...

Come on people. Are we really going to start that crap already(Greg Lies)? Who says Greg lied? You haven't even let the man take office yet and you bash him already. Do you haters really think it would be smart to start from scratch? Don't you think having a little experience in your team is a wise move? Remember, these people still answer to the mayor. I think the mayor knows what he has and knows how to use these people properly and to control them.

Enough with the Sour Grapes. Give the man a chance before you lay into him. Especially before calling him a liar. I think you will be pleasantly suprised

Anonymous said...

Ballard is a great disappointment to us all. We had a corrupt politican in Bart Peterson and we supported Greg Ballard hoping for a positive change! What we got instead was an idiot, corrupt politican!

Anonymous said...

Ballard has already proved himself to be a liar! No other proof needed! Print the "Ballard Lies" bumper stickers and tyhe yard signs. I will be first to post them. This man is a coward and a sellout! Are there any honest people in politics in Indianapolis?

Anonymous said...

He's not the mayor yet and therefore has not done anything yet.Shut your pie-holes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, anon 918. Sheez! You people are going to blow your blood pressure out of the roof until you just stroke out.

Time for me to stop visiting for awhile.

Anonymous said...

We gave Greg Ballard a chance! He was very clear in making promises about what he was going to do and about the evil of politics as usual. After he was elected he stabbed all of the good people who worked to get him elected in their backs and brought in the good old boys, many of whom, like Susan "Pie face" Brooks, Tom John and Carl Brizzi, had been working with the Bart Peterson group. Olgen Williams had his head so far up Bart Peterson's Ass that he could see his dental work, but Olgen Williams is just another non-threatening minority like Steve Campbell. Susan Brooks and Scott Newman don't mind working with such people. Greg Ballard is a liar. That is all there is to that!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:14 WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? He's not even mayor yet! What did he lie about? To whom did he lie? Did you work his campaign and learn about promises he made to people he later broke?

Instead of blah blah blah lies lies lies how about specifics? Help us understand...

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:14 WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? He's not even mayor yet! What did he lie about? To whom did he lie? Did you work his campaign and learn about promises he made to people he later broke?

Instead of blah blah blah lies lies lies how about specifics? Help us understand...

indyernie said...

"GREG LIES GREG LIES GREG LIES GREG LIES get used to it because bumper stickers are already being printed and t shirts will be available soon"

Never had an original idea of your own have ya?

Anonymous said...

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that it does not appear anyone who was working in support of Ballard is coming to his aid on many of the negative comments. It tells me that he has not reached back to his original supporters in any way. If he had, there would be some strong comeback to negatives. I don't think it is about people who are being excluded from his administration but rather about him missing the connection back to his roots. If true, then this is a problem John Cochran owns as Ballards advisor. Missed opportunity?

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal: I like Scott as a person. His personal triumph over Parkinson's is almost movie material. Very compelling.

But ask many practicing lawyers in this city, and they'll tell you he was a mediocre prosecutor, at best. He ran the office better than Brizzi does, but hell, that wouldn't be tough. The standard is pretty low. I realize the opinions of practicing lawyers aren't the be-all-end-all, but, they work with the Prosecutor regularly. I don't. I know I had one relatively minor assault case in my life for over two years, and Newman's office effed it up at every turn, without fail. It became comical, but someone got hurt, and, frankly, was never, ever prosecuted, despite airtight eyewitness accounts.

What bothers me more than anything else are his quotes which surround this announcment. Ergo:

This sad over-generalization about crime running rampant. It isn't good, but our city is not going to hell in a handbasket. (I'll duck now for the IndyU leftovers to throw their brickbats).

I get all over this city weekly on business. I see and hear form all kinds of people, from all walks of life, and this citizen's observation is: a handful of LEOs hated the merger, still hate it, and love to scream "the sky is falling."

An overwhelming majority of LEOs, I'm told by LEO friends, do not feel that way. Are they happy all the time with their jobs? Hell no. (Are most of you?) But they quietly and effectively do their jobs, daily, without fanfare.

Newman says in the paper today he'll be happy to help 'take the streets back.'

When he throws his political clout behind that kind of sweeping generalization, he cheapens all the potential solutions, and he angers many who don't think we're all that bad off.

We can all do better to help make our city safer and more responsive to citizen safety needs. But to paint with this broad brush, as if the current administration let Al Quieda run the streets, is over-simplified and patently untrue.

He has not apparently learned the toughest lesson of public service: on any difficult question, quick sound-bite answers rarely fix tough problems. And never, ever, ever diminish the role of good citizens and LEOs doing their jobs every day, quietly, not bitching on every corner about every misplaced General Order or Malcontent IMPD Lieutenant.

The added potential conflict with his company, combines to make this a tough appointment to justify.

Frankly, the PSD position, is a layer of bureaucracy not needed. The mayor's direct access to IMPD should be through the chief. Period.

Anonymous said...

I get all over this city weekly on business. I see and hear form all kinds of people, from all walks of life, and this citizen's observation is: a handful of LEOs hated the merger, still hate it, and love to scream "the sky is falling."

An overwhelming majority of LEOs, I'm told by LEO friends, do not feel that way. Are they happy all the time with their jobs? Hell no. (Are most of you?) But they quietly and effectively do their jobs, daily, without fanfare.



Your kidding , right. I am glad to hear that your observation is thata handfull of officers were against the merge.

Well, as an actual officer I will tell you my informed opinion. More then a handfull thought the merge a promblem. Mind you, if you ask, the majority of us will say that the merge was a decent idea, however in the long run. Over the course of 3 or 5 years, it could have been done with little pain.

However, it was rammed through in less then a year. Major, I repeat, major problems arose. Don't believe me? No problem, wait till the mass changes in a few weeks.

We will make it work now. But don't believe for a second that only a few are unhappy with the problems associated with the merge.

Anonymous said...

3:40--I'm the earlier poster. And I recognize your unique grammatical style. Let's just say it's not a new whine.

I stand by my earlier posting.

Do I wish crime were less? I sure as hell do. But history will tell us, if you pay attention, that increases in crime almost always accompany economic downturns. Socilologists have proven it time after time. When times get tough, more people steal. To support themselves, drug habits, whatever. When more thieves are loose, it means more poeple will get hurt, becauise thieves get careless.

I am confident that the overwhelming majority of LEOs couldn't give a rat's ass less, which elected person is in charge of their department.

I'm also confident that they'd do their jobs if Rin Tin Tin were chief or sheriff or whatever. Because they're professionals, and they recognize that police departments nationwide are typically political footballs. Good, career officers stay above the frey, do their jobs, and go home at night. (With any luck, and our support, they go home safe every night)

I also attended two of the combined merger task force meetings, where officers from both departments worked together for months on transition and merger items. I watched many of the other meetings on Ch. 16.

I saw strong differences of opinion aired in open fashion. I saw compromise and hard work by dozens of police officers from both agencies. Any observer could tell you, there were participants in those meetings who were rabidly against merger.

But I was very impressed with their can-do attitude and their professionalism.

And regardless what you say, it's a proven fact, this merger, when the kinks are ironed out, will save money.

I doubt the kinks are worked out yet, a year later.

There will be a time, soon I hope, that we look back and wonder why we didn't do it sooner.

And wonder why we still have 11 fire department sin this crazy county, because in truth, they're easier to merge than LEOs.

Mayor-elect Ballard has the best intentions, and although I didn't vote for him, I think he'll do just fine. The Newman appointment is puzzling to me because Scott mouthed tired old platitudes ("take out streets back") instead of offering up some real ideas.

If I had a pipeline to the new mayor, I'd tell him, we don't even need the Public Safety Director position. Save a hundred grand or so and hahve the chief's line of reporting go directly to the mayor.

Clean, simple, safe, proven.

And cheaper.

Time will tell if Scott Newman does a good job as PSD. I'll allow that his innitial comments in the paper today, were hopefully ill-advised and mouthing platitudes to the amsses.

The real job of police work is a lot tougher than repeating easy sound bites. Through it all, even if there's another unneeded layer, I think Ballard will figure it out.

I get the sense his BS meter is on overdrive.

Anne said...

I'm pretty shocked by those of you who are bashing the mayor-elect. You hated Peterson, now you hate Ballard. You cheapen the voter movement to unseat Peterson by bashing the guy who has not even taken office yet. Was Peterson defeated for real reasons, or was he defeated by people who just hate everybody. Your bashing Ballard makes me wonder.

As for "the people who worked for him" not getting jobs, who are these people? Anyone have the guts to name these mysterious people?

Newman is trusted and knows how to tackle crime. I would much rather have a veteran tackle crime in this city than a newcomer. We're not talking about easy stuff, tackling crime in a serious way can only be handled by someone who has experience dealing with the people who commit those crimes. Newman will know where to go to disrupt the crime wave in this city.

Anonymous said...

As a deputy prosecutor during the Newman years, I can add a few observations.

Newman was a decent manager, especially when compared to Brizzi. He actually knew the name of the employees who worked for him. He actually kept track of what happening with your cases large and small, and actually took the time to observe and compliment new prosecutors on their work. This meant a lot to us. He actually encouraged career prosecutors, something Brizzi seemed to care less about.

He was a damn fine trial attorney-probably the best I have ever seen, and I have seen plenty. He didn't shy away from trying hard cases himself. He also wasn't afraid to take on some pretty strong targets himself, and the grand jury unit was hopping in those days. They indicted and convicted some pretty big targets, both Democrat and Republican.

He had a horrible temper. You didn't want to be the one who dropped the ball when he was watching. The best strategy when this happened was to man up immediately and take full responsibility for your actions. And when you got that page summoning you to a meeting, you didn't dare hesitate to return that call.

As far as how this reflects on how he will perform in his new position, I don't know. The last time I saw him, you could really tell the Parkinson's was taking it's toll.

I am cautiously optimistic, but also share some of Gary's concerns regarding the makeup of Ballard's team. I am willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but not for too long.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 6:09...interesting observations.

I can line up four former or current deputy prosecutors who served under Newman, who thought he was a horrid manager. And they all speak volumes about his temper.

I would hope his unfortunate brush with illness has made him more humane. Evidently, his tempter tantrums were something to behold.

And, like most such outbursts, completely unnecessary and counter-productive. In my almost 30 years in business, I have yet to meet an effective manager who also had a bad temper. The two just don't mix. Good managers know how to hold their temper.

My sense is that Ballard will be a good overall manager. He'll stumble--he's human. The real test will not be his first appointments, but when he'll dump the ineffective people, wherever they are, after they've been given a fair chance. And you can bet your last dollar that in this first round of appointments, there are a couple of stinkers.

And some of the remaining appointments--Parks, Metro Development--are extremely important. They'll be very telling.

Anonymous said...

Please if anyone can help us. To make a long story short. My 2 boys now 5 & 9 were molested by there father. Cps & the police are no help. He has stalked us & now the courts say the boys have to visit him. When they did yesterday 1-14-08 they were forced to see him. They are now having bowl movements on themselves & nightmares. He told them he still loves us & is going to move back in with us. I have been through everyone I think of to talk to. Please help us. I am afraid he will kill us. If I move out of state I will be held in contempt of court. PLEASE can someone help! Donna 453-1199

Anonymous said...

Sorry I forgot to leave my e-mail ortizky317@yahoo.com
Thank you Donna