Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grand Jury Looking At OmniSource, Yeah Right

Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi tells WRTV's Jack Rinehart that he has convened a grand jury to hear testimony about allegations that scrap metal giant, OmniSource, knowingly purchased stolen copper, aluminum and other metals. What this typically means is that Brizzi is winding down an investigation for one of his friends and will close it without bringing criminal charges. OmniSource is represented by Barnes & Thornburg's Larry Mackey and Jason Barclay. I reported earlier how Mackey wrote a letter to IMPD's former police chief, Mike Spears, and Brizzi urging that Maj. Chris Boomershine, a lead investigator in the case, be disciplined, if not fired, for discussing allegations against the scrap metal giant with a member of the news media. Boomershine told local media of the investigation at the time:

Off-duty Indianapolis police officers allowed their part-time employer, OmniSource, to purchase suspicious or stolen metals at least 21 times in 2008, a city attorney said Friday.

The off-duty officers documented the suspicious purchases in reports that came to light during a hearing to determine whether the company should be granted a license to continue buying and selling scrap metal in Marion County.

But while they documented the purchases, they took no action to stop them at the time.

"They saw something wrong and felt it was wrong enough to document it, not knowing what would become of it," said Maj. Chris Boomershine. "That's not uncharacteristic of a lot of part-time situations where things come to an officer's attention."

Boomershine is the commander of a team of detectives who spent nearly a year documenting allegedly illegal transactions at OmniSource locations.
OmniSource employed about 50 IMPD officers as security officers, including officers who worked on investigating charges against other scrap metal yards that they had knowingly purchased stolen metal. IMPD made the police quit their moonlighting jobs at OmniSource and demoted another high-ranking police officer after the charges surfaced and the media and blogs began focusing attention on the case. Platt's Steel Market Daily had more details about information police learned after raiding the firm's scrap yards in Indianapolis. Platts reported that police recovered "folders on how to avoid anti-trust violations." The Platts report indicated that undercover police officers pretending to be auto thieves were able to sell items to OmniSource which had been altered to appear stolen. Platts also reported that OmniSource allegedly "wanted to target their competitors while employing [IMPD] officers." At the same time, Platts reported that "nothing of enforcement appeared to be happening at their yards." That triggered Mackey to write a letter to Boomershine's superiors. "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."

Soon after allegations of wrongdoing by these police and OmniSource first surfaced, then-Public Safety Director Newman assured the public at a Mayor's Night Out meeting that nothing illegal had been done by any one, including police, even before the investigation had been concluded. Newman is a former law partner at Barnes & Thornburg where Mackey and Barclay work. Barclay tells Rinehart that he expects closure to the case soon. "We've done our own investigation during that time period, talked to witnesses, looked at evidence and we're confident there's no evidence of a crime," said attorney Jason Barclay. Barclay's biography at the firm's website boasts of obtaining an acquittal for a prominent Kentucky road contractor recently who had been accused by the FBI of paying bribes and rigging bids to win state highway contracts. "He recently served as trial counsel in the month long public corruption trial of a highway contractor who was fully acquitted in federal conspiracy, bribery, and obstruction of justice charges," his firm biography reads.

We recently learned that prosecutors failed to act on a forfeiture action in a timely manner, allowing OmniSource to recover as much as $273,000 seized from the firm's scrap yards at the time IMPD began investigating. it. This set off finger pointing between the prosecutor's office and high profile attorney Greg Garrison, who had been retained to work on a forfeiture action. Garrison insisted that he had been instructed not to take any action in the case.


Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Concerned Taxpayer said...

Boomershine is another gift of Frank Anderson.

Advance Indiana said...

The suggestion that Boomershine is a gift of Frank Anderson is so far off the mark it is unworthy of serious consideration.

Anonymous said...

Sort of off topic, but I do have two questions that I wonder if you have any insight into.

Have you heard anything regarding all of the construction going on at the water facility at 56th and Dandy Trail? Even if it is an expansion of capacity or to meet mandated standards I am not sure why they needed the additional expense of the custom stonework that is being placed on the buildings...

Also, have you heard what the construction taking place at the Indianapolis Colts complex is for? They have built a large berm to block the view from the street, and are doing quite a bit of other work. I doubt they built the sidewalk out of goodwill for the community, which leads me to wonder if they are receiving TIF money or tax breaks as part of the construction.

Just wondering if you had heard anything about either of these.

Indy4U2C said...

I wonder if Corrupt Carl consulted Sonia Leerkamp's Guide to Grand Jury Proceedings?

Advance Indiana said...

To set the record straight, Boomershine was hired by former Sheriff Joe McAtee.

Marycatherine Barton said...

The name, Carl Brizzi, personifies the word, corruption.