Hogsett, Indiana's former secretary of state, is a partner at Indianapolis law firm Bingham McHale. He is a close friend of U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and was among those who considered seeking Bayh's Senate seat after Bayh announced he would not seek re-election this year.It's absolutely hilarious that Bayh would cite Hogsett's stint as Secretary of State "supervis[ing] the prosecution of numerous fraud cases" as evidence he has experience as a prosecutor. His office rarely prosecuted any securities fraud cases when he was Secretary of State and when it did, he took no part in those cases. Hogsett was too busy walking the State House hallways glad-handing and travelling the state running for political office. His selection will be greeted with cheers by the corrupt pols of both parties who have been raping taxpayers in Indiana for decades without fear of prosecution. Those of us who believe we are entitled to honest services from our public officials will have to continue dreaming of what it would be like to have a real prosecutor like Chicago's Patrick Fitzgerald, who has sent dozens of corrupt politicians to prison in Illinois, including one former governor with a second former governor about to join him.
Hogsett had been considered the front-runner for the U.S. attorney job for months.
If confirmed by the Senate, Hogsett would replace Timothy Morrison, who has been the interim federal prosecutor since 2007. He took over when the last appointed U.S. attorney, Susan Brooks, left for an executive position at Ivy Tech Community College.
In a news release, Bayh said he consulted Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., before recommending Hogsett.
“Joe Hogsett has a distinguished record of public service on behalf of the people of Indiana," Bayh said. "His legal experience, insight, background and temperament make him an excellent choice for U.S. Attorney. He has the respect and support of Indiana law enforcement, judges, elected officials and community leaders."
Bayh added: "As Indiana’s Secretary of State, Joe supervised the prosecution of numerous fraud cases. Joe also has distinguished himself in private practice as a litigator with considerable experience in federal court. He is well-qualified to hold this position of public trust, and I hope the Senate will confirm him without delay."
UPDATE: I found these contrasting statements in today's Star about Hogsett's appointment quite revealing:
"I think Joe is an excellent choice," said Murray Clark, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. "We've had people in that position lately who are very capable and put politics aside. I think Joe will be of that same quality."Why would the Republican state party chairman applaud the appointment of an unqualified political hack, while an objective retired law professor would question it? It's because in Indianapolis corruption is bipartisan. Hogsett was chosen by Sen. Evan Bayh, who used to be a law partner at Murray Clark's law firm, Baker & Daniels, the same law firm that paid Bayh about $1 million to work at the firm for about two years before he joined the Senate even though he never really billed any hours and spent most of his time campaigning and fundraising for his Senate campaign. Clark's law firm lobbies Congress and won close access and favors from Bayh during his Senate years in exchange for that small going-away gift. These guys look out for each other when it comes to sweeping public corruption under the table. It's the Indianapolis way.
Henry Karlson, a professor emeritus at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, said the U.S. attorney's office has sorely needed an appointed leader to make tough calls on several high-profile investigations.
"I'm not surprised by his appointment," Karlson said. "His experience is more political than legal, and that does bother me a little bit. . . . The politics could be a strong suit, but it depends on what he does with it."