Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OmniSource Will Get To Keep $273,000 Seized By IMPD Due To Missed Deadline

Well, the Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office just rewarded OmniSource with $273,000 cash that IMPD initially seized from the giant scrap metal company after the office failed to take the necessary legal steps to keep the seized cash within the legal timeframe reports the IBJ's Cory Schouten. Perhaps that will be sufficient to cover Larry Mackey's legal services for the company. Schouten writes in an online report:
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department likely will have to return more than $273,000 in cash seized as part of a racketeering investigation after the Marion County Prosecutor's Office missed a civil forfeiture deadline.

Law enforcement officers from IMPD, the FBI, Indiana State Police and other agencies in February 2009 raided six Indianapolis scrap yards operated by metal recycling powerhouse OmniSource, collecting evidence and seizing cash and property.

The raids were the culmination of a year-long undercover investigation into the company's purchase of stolen ladders, boats, gutters, wiring and other items as scrap metal prices boomed.

Law enforcement officers turned the case over to the Prosecutor's Office Grand Jury division, which continues to investigate. And the locally based Garrison Law Firm, which Prosecutor Carl Brizzi hired several years ago to handle select forfeiture cases in exchange for 30 percent of the take, began working on a case under federal racketeering statutes.

But no one—not Garrison nor anyone at the Marion County Prosecutor's Office—filed the paperwork necessary to keep the seized cash within 180 days, as required under state law. Each party blames the other for the oversight.

Law enforcement sources said the case never was referred to the internal Prosecutor's Office forfeiture unit, and that Garrison took responsibility from the start. A series of e-mails among Prosecutor's Office officials, obtained by IBJ, say the civilian employees who run IMPD's forfeiture division were told Garrison was handling the case and were never notified of a change.
The prosecutor's office's attempt to lay blame at Garrison's doorstep isn't playing with me. A source close to the investigation informed me at the time that Garrison was ready to go gangbusters against OmniSource but was ordered to stand down by the prosecutor's office after Mackey started representing the company and tried getting the lead investigator in the case fired or demoted for speaking too candidly to the media. Schouten's report notes the letter Mackey sent to Capt. Boomershine's superiors at the time:
A spokesman for the IMPD referred all questions to the Prosecutor's Office. Police haven't discussed the case publicly since IMPD Maj. Chris Boomershine told industry newspaper Platts Steel Markets Daily in February 2009 that OmniSource kept documents on how to avoid antitrust violations, hired off-duty IMPD officers to target competitors and bought cars altered to appear stolen from undercover police officers.

Mackey blasted Boomershine's disclosures in a three-page letter to top officials at IMPD and the Prosecutor's Office in March 2009.

"Divulging confidential information in and of itself was wildly inappropriate," Mackey wrote. "Divulging it to Platts Steel Markets Daily constituted a purposeful effort on the Major's part to publicly damage OmniSource and its publicly traded parent."

The fact no action has been taken against OmniSource 14 months after the raid is no surprise to Republican blogger Gary Welsh. He predicted in May 2009 on his Advance Indiana blog that the case would go nowhere under Brizzi.

“These cases drag on and on and when nobody’s looking, they quietly announce there are no charges and is no evidence of a crime,” Welsh said.
Schouten's quote from me pretty much sums up what I think about the handling of this case.

15 comments:

Melyssa said...

Gosh Gary, I thought I heard Brizzi say his PR/Legal problems were not affecting his ability to do his job and that the public should not judge him based on his relationships.

Well, now we can judge him on purposely dropping the ball and letting corruption go unpunished.

I know said...

The office could not file charges against the officers when it dropped the ball on the cash evidence now could they?

The real question is who is going to make out the check to the US and Indiana TAXPAYERS for the time, manpower, assets used and wages for the FBI agents, the State Police Officers, the County and City Officers since the funds maybe claimed and the charges dropped. The taxpayers just got robbed again due to all the costs they have paid for good and decent public service and police protection.

Stuff like this would make any good police officer feel like he or she got kicked in the gut with this.

How long before ALL law enforcement just looks the other way. It appears the Lawyers have steered the ship that way!!!

John said...

Mackey's letter seems appropriate. I wouldn't think that police officers are supposed to talk about active investigations or matters that are being prosecuted. Is that correct?

varangianguard said...

Just enough leeway to allow for finger-pointing and misdirection of responsibility, if necessary.

According to Harry Truman, Mr. Brizzi, the bucks stops on your desk, nowhere else.

I feel dirty even having to comment on this latest example of Mr. Brizzi's competence (or lack thereof). I feel I need a bath.

Pfaw!

Bob said...

Didn't Garrison's Office make a $1000 contribution to David Wyser's campaign?????

What IS going on at the Marion County Prosecutor's Office?

First, the revelations about Brizzi outside business dealings with Paul Page and John Bales.

Second, Brizzi and Dave Wyser selling justice to murderers?

Now, returning money to help fund police investigations to criminals (like steroid dealings and scrape metal brokers) because they hire politically connected attorneys?

Brizzi and Wyser said they would resign if the effectiveness of the office was impaired.

Carl, it is time for you to "Brizzign."

David, your the chief deputy this screw up lands on YOUR desk.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Carl is still up to no good, and we have eight more months before his term ends. Weeping!

Downtown Indy said...

Diamonds are a girl's best friend and Brizzi is a crook's best friend.

Citizen Kane said...

The money should not have remained with the prosecutor's office; it should have been returned to those harmed by this criminal action.

Paul K. Ogden said...

In a forfeiture action, the law enforcement agency can only keep as much money as it takes to cover the law enforcement action that led to the forfeiture. The rest of the money is to be paid to the common school fund. I believe these law enforcement agencies usually keep ALL the money. It has gotten to the point that these law enforcement agenices aren't interested in prosecution as seeing how much they can keep through forfeiture. Not that that excused the prosecutor's screw up in missing the deadline.

even though they are not entitled to it.

Clear-eyed said...

So what will it take before you republicans get that your party leaders are as corrupt as they come, and really just use your small government ideology as cover for cashing in through governmental connections.
Look around at your local, State, and National leadership. Cheney's entire career has been using governmental connections to get private contracts for his companies (to the tune of 185million), James Baker and his cronies are hip deep in Chrysler bailout money and other governmental handouts. Mitch made millions as a Lilly executive, played games with our federal governmental budget, and now has the gall to talk about debt.
Dan Burton is a walking cesspool of corruption whose largest donors are cuban american rice and sugar plantation owners in Florida.
Your Mayor is both a moron, and dishonest as well. The entire finance system of this state's republican party has relied on thieves like Durham, and the prosecutor's office has been used as a bill collector for their donors. God help you if you have a legitimate business dispute with a republican funder, otherwise the threat of a grand jury investigation and garbage charges come close on its heels.

I have already heard marion county prosecutors recommend particular lawyers for cases in hamilton county. The office is so corrupt they don't even understand that referring criminal lawyers to defendants is an unethical practice.

Cato said...

Indy is ruled by a cop junta.

You need to know just where you stand. What goes on here should scare perceptive people.

karma09 said...

Sounds like Larry Broeder should be prosecutor. He keeps showing up on the right side of things while Brizzi and Wyser are busy:

cutting murderers loose for campaign money;
giving drug dealers misdemeanor pleas;
turning over siezed criminal enterprise money, due either to personal business associations with their defense attorneys, or gross incompetence.

Isn't Wyser running on his experience and administrative ability?

Well, there you have it. Good job, fellas. Maybe Trump would hire you, too?

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Clear-eyed?

The Republicans are not small government people, although that is what they say they are.

Just like the democrats say they are going to end the war and then say nothing when Obama escalates it.

Same thing. Lies.

Do you think Bush and Cheney were small government? Really?

The Republicans are just as big and corrupt as their counterparts, the Big Government Democrats.

The Libertarians have the answers. Not only that, but you can count on the Libertarians put action to their words.

Just look at property taxes. For decades the Republicans and Democrats did nothing. When the bills came, it was the Libertarians who organized the street protests and led the charge for reform.

You didn't see the R's or D's do a thing about property taxes, until the Libertarian activists forced their hand.

Now we're seeing fat trimmed across the state!

Marycatherine Barton said...

I agree with Melyssa. It is also too bad that the Republican Party is taking over the tea parties.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I figured that Cory Schoueten has been reading Gary Welsh, and I pray for you two brave investigative journalists every day. I adore good government types!