Thursday, December 27, 2007

Williams Participated In Black Ministers Shakedown

Do you remember that outrageous shakedown attempt earlier this summer when Indianapolis' black ministers were demanding Mayor Bart Peterson give them $25 million to help fight crime in the city? Well, guess who was standing front and center next to Bishop Thomas Garrot Benjamin asking Mayor Peterson to give your hard-earned tax dollars to these churches? Yes, that is Rev. Olgen Williams standing next to Benjamin. He is the first person Mayor-elect Greg Ballard has appointed to his administration. Williams will become Deputy Mayor of neighborhoods. Will Williams now be able to fulfill his goal of handing out public tax dollars to churches? Recall that after the passage of Mayor Peterson's 65% increase in the local option income tax, it was learned that $5 million of the tax increase had been set aside for faith-based initiatives related to fighting crime. Indiana's constitution specifically prohibits the expenditure of public funds for religious purposes.

Williams has another big question to answer. As the Accidental Mayor blog site has already noted, Marion County Treasurer's office records show Williams and his wife pay no taxes on the home they own at 741 N. Sheffield Avenue. County property tax records indicate the home is assessed at $51,700. It is unclear why the Marion County Treasurer's records show no taxes being paid by the Williams because it is not listed as tax-exempt property. The home is, however, located adjacent to property owned by the Victory Tabernacle Apostolic Church at which Rev. Williams is listed as an elder and church treasurer. Mr. Williams owes us an explanation immediately. At a time when most of us are still reeling from record property tax increases, and city voters elected a new mayor in large part because of their desire to curb government taxing and spending, it seems rather ironic the mayor's first appointee would not be paying taxes on his home like the rest of us.

UPDATE: Speaking on behalf of Rev. Williams, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz offers this explanation for no taxes being paid by the Williamses:

I already checked on the tax bill, Olgen and his wife pay their tax bill through their mortgage. They got an exemption this year they hadn't taken advantage of in the past so they overpaid. They had the amount they owed applied to their future bill so they didn't owe anything.

I, too, escrow my property tax payment with my mortgage. The information on the Marion Co. Treasurer's website typically shows how much your tax bill is and the amount of any unpaid taxes. You may recall that's how I discovered earlier this summer that many Marion Co. elected officials were delinquent in the payment of their tax bills. Accidental Mayor, responding to Abdul's explanation, writes, "According to Lexis, Williams has a homestead exemption, a veteran's exemption, a disability exemption and a miscellaneous exemption on his property." Is it possible you can be eligible for so many property tax exemptions you can reduce your tax liability to zero?

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Olgen is a fine, fine man. He made his mistakes, but paid his debt to society and even won a rare Presidential pardon. Stand down. Give him a chance to help the whole city as he has the Haughville area.

Anonymous said...

I'm with 709. I voted for a change and I am willing to give our new Mayor and his staff a chance.

Anonymous said...

By the WHOLE CITY you mean the Black Community don't you?
The Shakedown in Naptown did not seem to be overflowing with diversity and as Gary noted Olgen was front and center.
If this is how Ballard wants to run his town he's going to find his 15 minutes of fame very fleeting.
I suppose Ballard's next appointment will be The Deputy Director of Illegal Numbers Racketeering. Hell, put them under Olgen's Front Porch Alliance like Goldsmith did.
When I saw Ballard take the stage with Brizzi on election night I had a real bad feeling that things in this town are going to get a whole lot worse than Peterson could have ever dreamed of.

bb said...

I knew you weren't gonna like this....

Of course, we can all wait for the explanation (will it come from Mayor Grand, I mean Ballard, or will they make Olgen himself do the 'splainin?)

Even more ironic would this be if he's paying no property taxes while himself raising them as part of the IPS School Board.

Anonymous said...

AI - Apologists haven't answered your tax question. I suppose a backdated exemption is being created and (through divine intervention, of course) will be found under some papers in a closet on the 25th floor. This is too rich. Nice dig.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Olgen Williams vote for the last IPS bond issue--something like $500million?

Anonymous said...

It was too funny during his interview with Channel 13 about his appointment. The reporter showed the big picture he had hanging in his office him and Mayor Peterson with a big thank you letter from Peterson. Olgen mumbled he and his wife both voted for Ballard, although they didn't know at the time why they both decided to vote for him. That's the kind of guy I want on my team.

Bart Lies said...

I came here first, to find out who Olgen is. I was sure you'd have the scoop. I'm VERY concerned about his not paying property taxes. I hope an immediate and plausible explanation is forthcoming.

indyernie said...

Gary is there anyone who could be appointed that would make you happy?
We all know that Jen and Wilson will never be happy...but would those same appointees make everyone else happy?
Really, what’s going on?
Contact the transition team and apply if you want a position but this is getting silly.
Right now I truly believe that if Greg Ballard farted Lilac you would complain.
OK, Olgen needs to explain the tax exemption that said I believe that we need to give Mayor-Elect Ballard and his team a chance before we criticize.

Anonymous said...

WTHR reported:

"While Williams will double his salary from roughly $48,000 to $95,000, he leaves Christamore House with mixed emotions.

"I love the Christamore House. It's part of me. Christamore House gave me a second chance when I was down," said Williams.

A former drug-user and ex-convict, he says it helped him turn his life around and focus on helping others. Williams says the work he's done at Christamore should serve him well in his new position.

"I believe in being inclusive. We've got to address every neighborhood in all corners of the city and see what the needs are. Some are greater than others and hopefully the stronger can help the weaker," said Rev. Williams.

Williams, 59, says he is excited about having the opportunity to make a difference, and while he has no agenda yet, he is most interested in strengthening neighborhoods and keeping them safe, and in faith-based initiatives.

Williams describes himself as non-political. A picture with and letter from Mayor Bart Peterson hangs in the hallway. He says while he didn't campaign for Ballard, he did vote for him.

While Williams doesn't have anything against Mayor Peterson, he says he thought it was time for change."

Advance Indiana said...

IndyErnie, I'm just keeping Greg honest. That's what he said he liked about me. No, I didn't apply for a position in his administration. I was not invited to participate in his transition team, and it was obvious my services were not desired by the people he did choose to work on his transition. I'm glad the team was able to find a convicted felon and ex-drug addict they can trust to do the job.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever think, IndyErnie, if people like Gary had been included on the transition, Ballard would have never made the stupid mistake of appointing this ill-suited man to this job?

indyernie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

My question is "How many Deputy Mayors will Ballard have?"
We don't need a "DM of Neighborhoods". Especially this guy. Only the inner city hoods will get any service. Why does he have to make 95K?
So much for "trimming the fat", huh Greg?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Ballard will appoint Monroe Gray to the Ethics Board next!
He is such a stand up, honest, hard working guy!

indyernie said...

indyernie said...
"I'm glad the team was able to find a convicted felon and ex-drug addict they can trust to do the job."

Olgen earned the pardon. He's been forgiven by the system and the laws that you and every attorney swear to uphold.
Very few convicted felons clean up their lives that much.
I'm not a forget and forgive guy but I have met Olgen and believe him to be a good man. A man who paid the price for his miss-deeds and continued to pay after the debt was paid.
If there is to ever an example of how a person can change their life, he is it.
Give him a chance.

Advance Indiana said...

Well, I'm a forgiving person too, IndyErnie, believe it or not. Having said that, I would still not appoint you to an executive position just below the mayor if you had a prior felony conviction, pardon or no pardon.

Anonymous said...

Olgen Williams obtained the house he lives in from the West Indianapolis Development Corporation.
In the City permit history on this property the owner before Williams is list as Westside Community Development Corporation.
The most recent permit was 8/07 and Olgen Williams is listed as owner.
Best I can find but it does look like Williams is the owner and no taxes are being paid. If his church owned it they would be listed as the owner when work permits were requested from the city, not Mr.Williams.
Remember Monroe Gray's two homestead exemptions.
Unless that property's title is in a non-profit's name then Mr. Williams must pay taxes on it.

Abdul-Hakim said...

It was not a shakedown! They asked Bart for help in raising money for youth programs. The Mayor's office blew them off.

Second, I already checked on the tax bill, Olgen and his wife pay their tax bill through their mortgage. They got an exemption this year they hadn't taken advantage of in the past so they overpaid. They had the amount they owed applied to their future bill so they didn't owe anything.

Sorry to disappoint you folks but no conspiracy here.

Olgen will be on tomorrow at 735 for those of you who are interested.

Anonymous said...

How did this appointment make it past the Mayor's Human Resources Department at Ice Miller?

Wilson46201 said...

It'll be interesting to see if IndyErnie himself ends up with some city job - maybe the motor pool or surplus equipment disposition?

Advance Indiana said...

Gee, Abdul, IndyUndercover thought it was a shakedown at the time, and I don't recall your reaction being so favorable at the time either.

Anonymous said...

What kind of rake do you get off the new Mayor Abdul?
Been a little quiet lately after you lost your hardrive?
Still suckin' up the fine cigars and scotch with Brizzi?

Anonymous said...

Abdul "I AM GOD" Hakim-Shabazz has spoken and the earth shakes.
Why don't you tell the fines folks how you got ran out of Illinois.

Anonymous said...

IndyU (a/k/a Abdul) also claimed that Monroe "Sweet Pea" Gray was on the 25th floor when the ministers showed up and told them to get their "n____ a___" out.

Anonymous said...

What about Williams' support of the last IPS bond issue--the $500 million bond issue?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I have never heard of being able to retroactively apply an exemption. Is it the homestead exemption? I've known one or two people who didn't have it noted, but when they did they never got a credit for previous years. It just reduced future bills. Sounds suspicious still, I'd have to say.

As for Abdul's comment that they asked for "help in raising money" my recollection is that they asked for the city to give them money. Our money, the money from us, the taxpayers (the ones who pay).

Anonymous said...

I'm confused is Abdul on the inside of the Ballard Administration?

indyernie said...

"It'll be interesting to see if IndyErnie himself ends up with some city job - maybe the motor pool or surplus equipment disposition?"

Sorry to disappoint Wilson but I don't want a city job. I'm also not interested in the liquidation of city surplus. Mayor Ballard's team can appoint those contracts to someone else. I won't be applying.
I've been in the fight for the reasons stated all year. Mayor Peterson dropped the ball when it came to crime control...
no sorry, that’s not right...
he never caught the ball to begin with.
Again sorry to disappoint you Wilson but those are the facts.

Anonymous said...

Abdul is on the payroll of Tom John's law firm.

Anonymous said...

Ahh Tom John

What this city needs is a psuedo organizational chart that lists who is in bed with who ...you know...the fancy kind with pictures, names, arrows, etc.

Anonymous said...

With all those exemptions, I hope he can prove he's a veteran. And disabled. And miscellaneous.

Miscellaneous? Hmm. Need to know more about that one.

angry taxpayer said...

I work my ass off to pay my taxes so this lout can get a $95,000 a year job with the city and pays no taxes.

Anonymous said...

On Bush's pardon of Olgen Williams:

"The former postal worker, Olgen Williams of Indianapolis, said he stole the money to support a drug habit. He spent one year in jail.

After his release, Mr. Williams became a born-again Christian, earned three college degrees and became executive director of Christamore House, an Indianapolis community center.

Mr. Williams first applied for a pardon about two years ago, filling out a lengthy application and providing letters of reference from friends and co-workers.

''It's one of those things, a validation, that a person in my situation wanted to have,'' Mr. Williams said.

Anonymous said...

As for Abdul's comment that they asked for "help in raising money" my recollection is that they asked for the city to give them money. Our money, the money from us, the taxpayers (the ones who pay).

Uhm, that's not quite how I recall it going down. T. Garrott Benjamin gave Bart Peterson an ultimatum: Give the black ministers the money or they would force a shutdown on constuction at Lucas Oil Stadium.

That was not only a weakly veiled threat (which had no teeth to begin with, as those folks couldn't shutdown a pea shake joint if it was located across the street from their places of worship), but it came off as a shakedown. Bart, a Democrat, was right to ignore this request from a group of mostly Black GOP ministers.

Church ministries thrive based on the collections taken from the congregants. If your church membership supports your ministry, there is no need to supplement a faith-based initiative with government subsidies at taxpayer expense.

harry callahan said...

"Ahh Tom John

What this city needs is a psuedo organizational chart that lists who is in bed with who ...you know...the fancy kind with pictures, names, arrows, etc.

9:38 PM EST"

Do you mean the same Tom John who plays both sides of the political fence? The one who is making fat cash up in East Chicago and Gary with big city contracts!

Republicans don't get contracts like those up there, much less the Marion County Republican Chairman! Hmmm...Something smells here! If my memory is correct,Bart Peterson made quite a large amount of cash up there from a sweetheart real-estate deal that the Lake County politicos held there noses to so he could finance his first campaign for mayor. (There was a huge payoff for that deal. Ask Earline Rogers or Rudy Clay.)

Ahh, Lake County, the last bastion of a truly corrupt Democratic political machine in this country!

Funny thing is, the same folks running the machine now were running it then, and Tom John is right in the middle of it! (Not to mention he is Ballards friend now!) Kind of makes you go HMMMMMM!

Anonymous said...

Notice the head in the back of the picture just to the right of Olgen Williams?

None other than Kent Smith, newly elected At-Large Councilman and City-County Council vice president.

Anonymous said...

"IndyErnie, I'm just keeping Greg honest. That's what he said he liked about me. No, I didn't apply for a position in his administration. I was not invited to participate in his transition team, and it was obvious my services were not desired by the people he did choose to work on his transition. I'm glad the team was able to find a convicted felon and ex-drug addict they can trust to do the job."

RESPONSE:

What a circus this is!!!

It demonstrates "mental and emotional" cruelty to the inner-spirit of every black family in Indianapolis, and perhaps the entire State of Indiana.

This type of behavior has also stimulated resentment and has encouraged needless racism and ultimately reverse racism in ouro city, such as in the John Linehand vs. Marion County Coroner success story and the Sheriff's Dept fiasco.

We must stop encouraging blacks to hate blacks and whites to hate black and blacks to hate whites. (You noticed I did not mention encouraging "whites to hate whites"? Compare the "white" deputy mayor that will be appointed against Olgin...are they equally competent?)

Why NOT!!!!

They should be!

There are MANY blacks in Indianapolis who are equally competent if not superior to "any" competent deputy mayor, of any race.

ALL of us, blacks and whites, need to start paying attention to the dynamics of race relations management/techniques that has been employed in Marion County while selecting black leadership. Management techniques that have spawned the likes of Monroe Gray, Aaron Haith, Lacy Johnson, Frank Anderson, 300 East, Tony Duncan, Carson [and] the lucrative peashake house industry that is maintained by our city and law enforcement.

Play very close attention to this. "Why do we end up with the Carsons, Grays, Drummers, Olgen "quality" most of the time? Because that's all we are allowed to have!" "CRAP"

Finally, most of us DON'T live in Haughville, and Olgen can't navigate past Haughville. So he will only represent Olgen, the Christamore House, the shakedown preachers and his small, run-down community through "more grant money" and other "handouts".

What a role model, he should be encouraging his son, who he constantly attempts to "force" people to listen to anytime you're "trapped" in the christamore house building--its more painful than Olgen's speech because he's so young and its almost inexcusable.

This "broad guesture", the very FIRST Mayoral appointment, set apart from the other appointments due for release tomorrow--Along with it being the first "black" appoinment, MARKETS our city as "one that has maintained and reinforced the Willie Lynch principles--thereby assuring plenty of stupid, weak, subservient losers to exploit". Of course they ignore the strong and intellectually alert--they usually kill us during the training or leave us on the battlefield after the victory.

So Gary and IndyErnie, my friends YOU are supposed to accept this "Appointment" as one of the BEST negroes Indianapolis has to offer. (I'm sure university professors all over Indiana are shaking their heads about now) but don't pay any attention to them, what do they know? THIS is the standard to "judge" blacks in Indianapolis. It doesn't matter that he will only represent less than 20% of the population and instead of getting %20K of our tax dollars, he gets $95,000. I must mention that with his 20% he is barely understandable 50% of the time, so I say he's really worth only about $10,000.00.

Yes, we deserve better, but when we get better we "still" complain.

Go figure?

It's very difficult to evaluate and select "black leaders", even for most blacks-- who have been very ill-informed until more recently.

We must be careful that we don't kill our black teammates who'd pull us aboard after their safe arrival. The enemy sure isn't going to pull you aboard safely and any sign of dissention within our ranks gives them an opening to begin their attack. They attacked, consquences were felt.

Maybe Olgen will be a team player with the People, not the system.

Of course, we must not leave our soldiers on the battlefield while we SwELL with victory.

Abdul-Hakim said...

Wow,

Actually I just picked up the phone and called Olgen and asked him what was up? Amazing what you can do with a cell phone these days. If the next four years are going to be like this, I'm going to have a blast in this town. God Bless America!

Anonymous said...

What kind of City take-home vehicle does he get as part of his new job? He'll have to tour the
neighborhoods and driving a City
owned 5 years old Dodge Neon wouldn't help the image of a Deputy Mayor.

varangianguard said...

Wow. I sure hope that "Official Apologist of the Ballard Administration" pays well, Abdul. How'd you get pigeon-holed as that anyway?

Anonymous said...

Wow,

"Actually I just picked up the phone and called Olgen and asked him what was up? Amazing what you can do with a cell phone these days. If the next four years are going to be like this, I'm going to have a blast in this town. God Bless America!"


Wow. Let's see if it is that easy for us to get hold of the Deputy Mayor of Neighborhoods later on.....since it is as easy as picking up a cell phone! I'll have to remember this post.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused is Abdul on the inside of the Ballard Administration?
Abdul is on the side that he thinks will net him the most media coverage outside his own show!

Anonymous said...

Abdul is the Court Jester of the Marion County GOP.
Two hundred years after Reconstruction and Abdul still can't do anything with his career other than be a song and dance man.
Don't kid yourself Abdul, they may joke and laugh with and let you buy a few drinks for them but you are what you are to them, their annointed Court Jester. A complete joke.
Think you have it all figured out don't you Abdul? Think again. They'll invite you to the party but they sure as hell won't ever let you dance and dancing is what you're good at.
Abdul Hakim-Shabazz (if that's your real name)forever the song and dance man and completely delusional.

varangianguard said...

If that previous "song and dance" comment had been said about anybody "blue", Wilson would have been calling for a Federal Hate Crime investigation.

Anonymous said...

Abdul "The Song and Dance Man of the Marion County GOP".
More truer words were ever spoken.
LMAO!

Anonymous said...

Notice the head in the back of the picture just to the right of Olgen Williams?

None other than Kent Smith, newly elected At-Large Councilman and City-County Council vice president.

I noticed that too 11:56. Wasn't he the only county-wide candidate who was given any attention and marketing by the local GOP? More so than Ballard, even? Shameless pandering for black votes, but hey! it worked -at least among the congregations of the crew shown in the picture

Anonymous said...

Olgen is a fairly nice guy. And he has turned his life around.

But he was part of this shake-down, and that's exactly what it was. Those "youth programs" would've filtered through some of those folks in the photo.

It put the Mayor and many others in a very bad position. There wasn't any extra money even if tey'd agreed to give it away. THe ministers knew that. They insisted on their 15 minutnes of fame, anyway.


And anything Monroe Gray had to say about the situation then, or now, is not pertinent. He is yesterday's news, thank God.

Anonymous said...

It is a good thing that Brizzi is incompetent or most of this cast of thieves, tax cheats, liars, and ex druggies would be under indictment about a year into the Ballard administration.

Anonymous said...

12:37, Sorry but Brizzi and Ballard are both feeding at the same trough now. The corruption will continue. Business as usual.
Want to lay money down on when Ballard will put the the black illegal numbers racket out of business? He won't. That's partly why Olgen Williams was given his position.
Wait until Ballard takes control of of the cops then the word corruption will take on a whole new meaning.

Anonymous said...
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Wilson46201 said...

Please remove that quite unnecessary and undocumented slur just posted above. Nasty cracks from anonymous nobodies just clutter up civilized political discourse...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
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Advance Indiana said...

Knock off the Kent Smith stories unless you have some proof to back them up.

Doesn't Hold water said...

As numerous people have pointed out on AM - the exemption explanation doesn't hold water; there should still be figures there, not all zeros.

And take a look at the exemptions: a disability exemption, a "miscellaneous exemption" - how do I get one of those? And is Williams on disability?

Advance Indiana said...

anon 12:25, For that matter, former Rep. Andy Jacobs was classified as a disabled veteran. You can't fault a person for suffering an injury while in service of their country. What it points up, though, is the inherent unfairness with the property tax. Let's just dump the system and move to fairer forms of taxation.