Monday, May 16, 2011

DLZ And Its Pay To Play Ways Strike Again

In my various reports on "Pay To Play Is The Ballard Way", I've noted one of the largest Ballard contributors has been a minority-owned engineering/consulting firm, DLZ. This is the same firm that federal investigators in Illinois subpoenaed in its ongoing investigation of Pay To Play corruption in Illinois. The firm lavishes campaign contributions to politicians all over the state of Indiana. Last week, the firm flew Porter Co. Commissioner Nancy Adams (R) and her husband to the state GOP dinner to hear First Lady Cheri Daniels speak. The Northwest Indiana Times Bob Kasarda reports on the free plane ride for the county commissioner:

The engineering firm of DLZ flew newly elected Porter County Commissioner Nancy Adams and her husband to a Republican dinner last week in Indianapolis.

Adams said she and her husband paid for their own tickets to the dinner, but did not reimburse the company for the flight, which also included a mayoral candidate from Mishawaka.

Adams said the flight, gifted by the top paid consultant of Porter County government last year, will in no way influence her decision making.

She said she opted to take the company up on the offer because the Thursday flight was much quicker than driving, which allowed her to attend county-related meetings both that day and Friday. She also felt it was important to attend the event to get to know others downstate, who she will need to rely on to get things done on behalf of the county.

DLZ Indiana President Brian Glaze did not return calls for comment.

The county personnel policy manual prohibits elected officials from accepting and donors from offering any gift, favor, service or entertainment under circumstances in which it can be reasonably inferred the gift would influence special consideration by the official.

Adams took office at the start of this year and thus was not part of the decision making that resulted in DLZ receiving the largest individual share of consulting funds last year from the county at $616,499.

Adams said she and the other two commissioners have made a point to share county work with many consulting firms.

She referred to the $20 million drainage project, where $680,000 in planning and engineering work was recently awarded to four area firms. DLZ was selected as the program manager and to take on a large amount of the work.

Cheri Daniels, wife of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, was the featured speaker at last week's GOP fundraising dinner in question.


Katz said...

DLZ has given tens of thousands of dollars to Mayor Ballard's campaign and thousands to local City-County Council candidates. What for? What does a business in South Bend need to contribute to elections in Indianapolis?

Anonymous said...

They have more than one office - do a little research.