Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ballard Spikes Ike

Last month, I wrote about how then-City-City Councilor Isaac "Ike" Randolph was pushing himself to the front of Mayor Greg Ballard's transition team beginning with the night of Ballard's upset win after Star columnist Russ Pulliam prominently featured him in a piece on Ballard's plan to restore the Front Porch Alliance, and I offered some prescient warnings about Randolph to the new administration. An anonymous commenter posted the following comment shortly after my post appeared, which read:

No one should be surprised to learn that Ike Randolph will do whatever is necessary to further his own interests.

For example, Randolph went to IFD Chief Greeson and told Chief Greeson that Mayor Ballard wanted Randolph detailed to the transition team. Chief Greeson did as he thought the new mayor was requesting.

When Chief Greeson next ran into Mayor Ballard, Greeson told Ballard that IFD was pleased to be able to help the new Mayor by detailing Randolph to the transition team.

As it turns out, Mayor Ballard had no idea what Greeson was talking about.

Now that is pure Ike Randolph - willing to misrepresent himself and those supporting him to get what he thinks will best further his own interests.

Mayor Ballard - beware!


In today's "Behind Doors Column", Star reporters essentially confirm the account provided by this anonymous commenter as to how Randolph landed a full-time position on the Ballard transition team. The column explains how the transition team was forced to diffuse a Monroe Gray-like situation when it learned of what Randolph had done. It reads:

On the flip side, Republicans found themselves defusing a potentially embarrassing situation concerning former City-County Councilman Isaac Randolph, who is a firefighter.

Indianapolis Fire Department Chief James Greeson said Randolph asked to be assigned to Ballard's transition office soon after the election in November.

Greeson said he agreed, even though Randolph would be paid as a firefighter during that time. "I guess I assumed he was asked by the transition team to go over there," Greeson said. "I had said we would cooperate in any way we could, and I didn't want to be an obstacle."

Greeson admitted fault for not calling transition leaders, who had never asked for a full-time commitment from any of the roughly 150 transition volunteers.

Randolph said he believed he would play a significant role in the transition team.

He said he told Cochran, the transition director, about being detailed to the team and received no objection. Randolph said he considered his assignment no different from those of the police officers detailed to protect Ballard.

"I was not trying to hide anything," Randolph said. "Everyone knew where I was and what I was doing. I told my superiors on both teams."

Joe Loftus, a one-time deputy mayor who helped lead the transition effort, said he acted to undo what had been done as soon as he learned of it.

"It would be disingenuous to have someone in the office doing essentially the same thing we criticized," Loftus said.

He was referring to Republican criticism of City-County Council President Monroe Gray, who could provide no records for his work as a political liaison for the Fire Department.

Loftus said Randolph understood the concern about special favors for politicians and said he would take care of it.

Randolph said the situation was not similar to Gray's but that he saw how "it could be misconstrued." He said he probably should have gotten permission in writing.
"Maybe it was a bad assumption on my part," Randolph said.

"Bad assumption?" That's an understatement. Hey, you have to give the guy credit. He had a little more than a good month of playing the right-hand man to Ballard, appearing with him at public events and showing up on TV news coverage of the new mayor standing right next to him. I'm just surprised it took so long for someone to ask, "What is this guy doing here every day?"

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought this Loftus guy was supposed to be such an insider pro at these things. It took him more than a month to figure out his transition team had a ghost employee working for them that they never asked to work for them? It reminds me of two different Seinfeld episodes where George and Kramer pretended to work for businesses they had never been hired to work for. Great comedy, here, folks.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, there were two specific names that appeared in print immediately following the Ballard victory. Long before the names of the entire transition team began to appear it was noted the Ike Randolph would be involved in the Front Porch Alliance program. Attorney Darla Williams was noted as being the liaison between Ballard and Peterson.
What happened to these people?
No one seems to want to provide some insight.
Looking at it from the outside it appears that Randolph was passed over by Ballard when Olgen Williams was named Deputy Mayor of neighborhoods and Williams was passed over by Ballard with his selection of the new Minority business appointee.
What became of these two people and why?

Wilson46201 said...

Maybe somebody else on the transition team read on this blog about the bona fides of Ike Randolph and Darla Williams?

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

"Looking at it from the outside it appears that Randolph was passed over by Ballard when Olgen Williams was named Deputy Mayor of neighborhoods and Williams was passed over by Ballard with his selection of the new Minority business appointee.
What became of these two people and why?"

Does this post not not answer this question as to Ike, anon 9:36. Is something missing here?

Anonymous said...

So Ballard thought he was hanging around at Greeson's behest, Gresson thought he was over there at Ballard's request, but it was Ike who assigned himself to the "position"? I guess this is why our parents always checked when we claimed to be be sleeping over at the neighbor's house to make sure all the stories jibed. I am relieved The Colonel is in charge!

Anonymous said...

What made Ike feel he was going to be a part of the Ballard Administration? Was it his alledged involvement with Abdul in IndyUndercover?
Why no answers about Darla Williams? She worked hard for Ballard, gets a role in the transition then she suddenly vanishes.
What's really going on? I just can't believe Ballard didn't lead Ike on at some point.

Anonymous said...

As for Darla, perhaps--just perhaps--she served on the transition and wants to return to the private sector. Where real work gets done quicker. I know I would prefer that. I don't know her--just guessing.

As for Ike, I'm confused. Did he or did he not work with the transition team over the last four or five weeks?

If not, where was he? His buddies at his firehouse claim he wasn't there most of the time. Will his city timesheets show us?

If he wasn't at his assigned firehouse (which, if his buds are to be believed, is common), and he wasn't working for Ballard, then did he get paid or did he take PTO?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Hell, taxpayers want to know. We voted for an end to this crap, just in time for Monroe to retire. He got away wtih it for several years.

It's not a small amount of money we're talking about here. At last check, Ike's annual salary was almost $60,000. If he was not accountable for five weeks, that's about about $5,800 or more. Plus benefits.

It sounds like the which-friend's-house-are-we-staying-at line may be correct here. From my youth, when the parents didn't really know which house, there was usually mischief involved.

TJefferson said...

Good post. Perhaps, Gary, it's appropriate for you to admit that Ballard is sharper and more aware than you gave him credit for in your constant harping about his transition team decisions. A little humility on your part at this moment would say a lot about you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Wilson46201 will request Ike randolph time sheets for the past 3 months, just to see what shows up.
i think it was garyj who did it on Monroe Gray and Vern Brown, sometime last year, and found NOTHING. Openly admitted to finding nothing, and wenty on with life.
Build a bridge, Wilson, get over it.

Anonymous said...

9:36 said...

"Looking at it from the outside it appears that Randolph was passed over by Ballard when Olgen Williams was named Deputy Mayor of neighborhoods"

Response: True

NEXT:

"Williams was passed over by Ballard with his selection of the new Minority business appointee."

Response: False

Williams and Wilson have known each other for years and worked the Ballard and Dickerson campaigns together. Williams feels Greg is highly qualified for the position because he has management level experience in minority business development and has also 'earned' the position.

Williams is a 'bond lawyer' in private practice, she has not applied for any full-positions with the Ballard Administration. She stays very busy actually--a relative newcomer to Indiana politics-appearing on the scene for worthy causes or when she has a horse in the race, otherwise that energy is applied toward lawyering. (smile)

Anonymous said...

OK folks, too many people with the same first and/or last names. Williams: Olgen, Darla; Greg: Ballard, Wilson; Wilson: Greg or Wilson Allen.

There are others, these are just a few examples.

Please use complete names or it leaves it open for misunderstanding.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

OK folks, too many people with the same first and/or last names. Williams: Olgen, Darla; Greg: Ballard, Wilson; Wilson: Greg or Wilson Allen.

There are others, these are just a few examples.

Please use complete names or it leaves it open for misunderstanding.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

8:22 PM EST
Anonymous said...

OK folks, too many people with the same first and/or last names. Williams: Olgen, Darla; Greg: Ballard, Wilson; Wilson: Greg or Wilson Allen.

There are others, these are just a few examples.

Please use complete names or it leaves it open for misunderstanding.

Thank you!

Your Right!!!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Maybe all of the skeltons in Ike's closet starting coming out and that coupled with the fact that he is a liar...may have ruined his chances