Tuesday, January 13, 2009

DeLaney Bill Would Bar Government Employees From Legislative Body

Indianapolis' City-County Council is filled with city and county employees working as policemen, firemen and other city and county employees. Under Rep. Ed DeLaney's HB 1373, these employees would be barred from running for the City-County Council in the future. This statutory bar would apply to the employees of other local government employees across the State of Indiana as well. DeLaney, a freshman Democrat from Indianapolis, recently won a court fight challenging the right of Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett to hold office because he worked as an employee of a nonprofit agency which received federal grant money, thereby violating the so-called Little Hatch Act under federal law. That decision is being appealed to the state's Supreme Court. This blog has noted that many current members of Indianapolis' CCC face similar Hatch Act problems. DeLaney should be applauded for offering this legislation. I believe these employees service on the council not only poses Hatch Act problems, but is also a direct violation of the Indiana Constitution barring a person from serving simultaneously in the executive and legislative branches of government--a clear separation of powers problem.

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