Most live radio talk shows employ a delay that allows the station to filter the broadcast for inappropriate material, normally coming from callers, but in rare instances, from the show's host. Somebody failed badly to do that during the live broadcast this afternoon of Carl Brizzi's weekend radio show on WIBC-FM, Crime Beat. Brizzi could have anticipated he might get calls inquiring about his relationship with indicted Ponzi scheme operator Tim Durham given his close friendship with him. An unidentified female caller hit Brizzi with direct questioning of his financial ties to Durham implying that he too may have engaged in some white collar criminal activiity with his best pal. Rather than cutting the caller's question short before airing her damning statements, Brizzi let her level very pointed charges against him before unleashing on her. He called her out by name repeatedly. Brizzi then called the woman "crazy," a "stalker" and "residual nutcase" against whom he said he would get a restraining order if she lived in Marion County because he "feared for his safety."Brizzi accused the caller of rummaging through his divorce and business records after she questioned him about the timing of a mortgage recording an interest in real estate in Elkhart that he and his business partner, Paul Page, purchased and redeveloped after getting a lucrative long-term lease agreement with the Indiana Department of Child Services. The lease agreement was negotiated by a Brizzi political pal, John Bales, on behalf of the state. Bales' Venture Real Estate also handled the leasing of costly office space for the Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office downtown, which Brizzi maintains was entered into by his predecessor, Scott Newman. The caller further suggested Brizzi traded in significant sums of Cellstar stock as part of an investment group headed up by Durham without being identified as a part of the investment group as required by SEC disclosure regulations. News reports have suggested FBI officials have been investigating Brizzi's business dealings while serving as Marion Co. Prosecutor.
Another caller hit Brizzi for his acquisition of an interest in a liquor license held by Harry & Izzy's in violation of an Indiana law that prohibits law enforcement officials from owning an interest in liquor licenses. Brizzi got around the law while he was Marion Co. Prosecutor by getting his friends in the state Attorney General's office to write an advisory opinion suggesting he could own an interest in a liquor license so long as his interest was owned indirectly as a shareholder in a corporation. Brizzi insisted to the caller that Indiana law permits law enforcement officers to own an interest in alcohol permits without mentioning the slight of hand he engaged in to circumvent the law's restriction. The indirect ownership exception recognized in the AG opinion has the effect of consuming the rule prohibiting law enforcement officials from owning an interest in a liquor license.
Brizzi refused one caller's request to comment on the charges against his friend Durham. Because of his former role as Marion Co. Prosecutor, Brizzi said anything he would say ran the risk of doing real harm. Brizzi did say Durham had never been investigated for any crimes in Marion Co. during his eight years as county prosecutor, which should come as no surprise given the nearly $1 million Durham had spread around to area politicians, including Brizzi, who received over $200,000 in campaign contributions from the indicted Ponzi scheme operator. Despite having ample left-over funds in his campaign account to return the ill-gotten money to the bankruptcy trustee for Fair Finance Co., a company upon whose board Brizzi briefly served, for the benefit of investors defrauded of more than $200 million of their hard-earned savings, Brizzi has so far refused to return the money as have Gov. Mitch Daniels, House Speaker Brian Bosma and other politicians who accepted contributions from him.