The Indianapolis City-Council is exhibit A for this problem. "A police officer, a firefighter, an employee in the county assessor's office and a city human resources worker currently hold seats on the Indianapolis City-County Council," O'Shaughnessy writes. That list includes police officer Lincoln Plowman (R), firefighter Vernon Brown (D), county assessor employee Mary Moriarty Adams (D) and city human resources worker Dane Mahern (D). Two of the council members defended themselves:
- "I think people bring some knowledge from their full-time employment," said Republican Lincoln Plowman, a major in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. "I field lots of questions from other council members and constituents about police work, and I'm usually able to answer them."
- "We are supposed to be a citizen legislature," said Mary Moriarty Adams, a Democratic council member and employee of the county assessor's office. "It's hard to curtail some potential conflicts and allow others."
So what other conflicts of interest are there, Mary? A city-county council attorney who chairs a committee which has jurisdiction over many issues in which his law firm has a direct interest? Members should self-police themselves and call out other members on these matters, but they don't because so many like her are conflicted themselves. Moriarty's bio on the council website makes no mention of her employment with the county assessor's office. She formerly worked for a nonprofit that receives federal funds and before that worked for the Indiana Housing Authority. Both jobs potentially created Little Hatch Act violations.