Monday, September 05, 2011

Hogsett Says His Office Is Targeting Public Corruption

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett sat down for an interview with the Star's Carrie Ritchie as the government prepares to prosecute its case against former high-ranking IMPD officer and a former City-County Councilor, Lincoln Plowman, on bribery and extortion charges. He issued a warning that his office has targeted public corruption:

"Any violation of public trust for personal financial gain will be identified, investigated and prosecuted by this office to the fullest extent of the law," Hogsett said. "My job is to make sure there's never a 'for sale' sign on any public official, ever."
The Plowman case predates Hogsett's tenure as U.S. Attorney. An undercover FBI sting nabbed Plowman accepting a $5,000 cash bribe in consideration for his assistance in helping an undercover agent posing as a Chicago businessman interested in gaining zoning approval for a downtown strip club the owner wanted to establish. Ritchie reports that multiple agents will testify at the trial, including two undercover agents who will be "given special protections to keep information about their jobs private." Plowman is represented by high profile criminal defense attorney James Voyles, a fact that has raised eyebrows. Some wonder how Plowman can afford his services. Plowman was auctioning off personal items on Craigslist at the time of his arrest.

I hope Hogsett means what he says about targeting public corruption. Some observers wondered if the FBI's investigation of local public corruption wasn't compromised when the details of the Plowman matter were leaked early on in the investigation, making it impossible to flip Plowman and use him to nab other unsuspecting persons. He is, after all, a rather small cog in the ring of public corruption taking place in state and local government. Plowman was in an ideal situation to aid the FBI given his high-ranking position in IMPD's investigations division and his leadership role on the City-County Council. This blog has detailed how Ryan Vaughn, the President of the Indianapolis City-County Council, has blatantly used his position to benefit his law firm and its clients involving far more money and having a far greater impact on public policy.


Bill said...

IM really hoping that this will being to light the extent of the pay to play culture here in Indy.You DO NOT do business in this city unless you are connected to the Mayor and his law firms buddies or Keystone Construction.

If you look at all of the deals, The law firms and Keystone construction have been right in the middle.

But probably the most obvious corruption is when the Hirons PR firm hires that Mayors son,then gets $398,000 in NO BID contracts with the city.Im not sure how you can be more obvious than this deal.

The Mayor has been smart when putting the ACS,North South and other deals together. He has made sure that they are so complicated that no one will be able to understand them.

However,the Hirons deal is plain out and out in your face pay to play. The sad thing is that no one has had the balls to call the Mayor on this one and Hirons now has a lot of power at City Hall,since they have the Mayors son as an employee.

Its really too bad that no TV outlets or the Star will do a story on Pay to Play in Indy.

CircleCityScribe said...

I don't think that Monroe "Sweet Pea" Gray has yet hit the statute of limitations for that no-bid concrete contract with the airport (which involved fed $). Wasn't one of the Johnson's on the Airport Board when that happened????

Public corruption at it's worst.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gee, Indy4u2c, after the pay to play corruption in the Ballard administration, stuff involving Monroe Gray from four years ago look like peanuts.

Marycatherine Barton said...

So glad to read that Joe is talking so strongly about forbidding public corruption. Now, let him stop it!

CircleCityScribe said...

Joe Hogsett is no Patrick J. Fitzgerald!!!

CircleCityScribe said...
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