UPDATE: Ruth Holladay has a possible motive for the attack. She blogs that it had something to do with the closure of Mendenhall's father's business, a porn store, way back in 1983 according to her source. WRTV has now confirmed what Holladay blogged. Here's what they say about the old case, which apparently involved Ed's wife, Ann DeLaney, who was a deputy prosecutor for then Marion Co. Prosecutor Steve Goldsmith:
Speculation has centered around an old court case from 1983 that involved Mendenhall's father, Burke Mendenhall, who owned a building in the 4200 block of West 38th Street in which he intended to set up an adult bookstore.UPDATE II: The Star's Kevin O'Neal sheds more light on the background of this case. It turns out that Ed DeLaney had represented the DeBartolo Group that used to own Lafayette Square Mall before the Simon Property Group acquired the company. The company's owners did not want Mendenhall's father to lease property he owned to a tenant that planned to operate an adult bookstore near their property. Goldsmith, then the prosecutor, filed a civil RICO action that allowed Goldsmith and the police to seize the tenant's business. The seizure was upheld by our state's Supreme Court; however, the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned that decision, saying Mendenhall's constitutional rights had been violated on grounds of prior restraint. Mendenhall later lost a civil lawsuit in federal district court against Goldsmith when the court ruled he was immune from civil liability for his actions as prosecutor.
According to court records, the Marion County prosecutor at the time, Steven Goldsmith, directed the Indianapolis Police Department to "lock, seal and secure" the bookstore on Mendenhall's property.
There was a long, drawn out court battle that lasted six years. DeLaney's wife was deputy prosecutor at the time.
The last time I drove up in that area there is an adult video store, Southern Nights Video, that has operated for many years immediately south of Lafayette Square along 38th Street and Commercial Drive. Goldsmith's actions seem a bit extreme, if not troubling, in retrospect. He's lucky Mendenhall's son didn't direct his anger at him instead of DeLaney. One could have gotten the impression that because DeLaney's wife worked for the prosecutor's office, he was able to leverage his law firm's political clout (he then worked for Barnes & Thornburg) with that office to get the most extreme governmental action possible against Mendenhall's father to produce the outcome his client desired.
There's also another interesting connection between Ed's wife, Ann, and Goldsmith. Early in the administration of then Gov. Evan Bayh, Ann was accused of offering two state legislators state jobs in consideration for a vote on legislation backed by Bayh while she was lobbying on behalf of Bayh. Goldsmith declined to prosecute her. Interestingly, we also learn that Mendenhall interned in the Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office for two years recently while he was completing his law school studies.
UPDATE III: The Indiana Law Blog has an update on DeLaney's medical condition and the news is good.