Tuesday, February 12, 2013

WISH-TV Report On Crime Prevention Grant Controversy Covers Up Lewis' Self-Dealing

Advance Indiana told you this past weekend about a controversial move by City-County Council President Maggie Lewis to hand control of the review and awarding of nearly $2 million in Indianapolis crime prevention grants from the Indy Parks Foundation to the Central Indiana Community Foundation, which currently counts Lewis' employer, Dove Recovery House, as one of its partners. WISH-TV's Julian Grace reports on the ending of Indy Parks Foundation's role in awarding the grants, but eschews any mention of the proposal Councilor Lewis introduced which would hand control to the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

After Advance Indiana and fellow blogger Pat Andrew reported on Lewis' conflict of interest in authoring Proposal No. 48 prior to last night's council meeting, Lewis pulled Proposal No. 48 from the list of proposals scheduled for introduction at last night's meeting. Lewis serves as executive director of Dove Recovery House, which is currently the recipient of the largest crime prevention grant. Grace's report states that Indy Parks Foundation is voluntarily ending its role in awarding the grants, and that some community groups that feel they've been overlooked for grants in the past believe the City's Department of Public Safety should assume responsibility for awarding the government grant money, not a nonprofit organization. Grace reports that the City-County Council is now in the process of deciding who will assume Indy Parks Foundation's role, but he completely ignores Lewis' introduction of Proposal No. 48, or the fact that she leads the organization that currently benefits from the largest crime prevention grant. Grace mentions that a councilor has decided that the Public Safety Department will not be given that responsibility, but he noticeably fails to identify that councilor as City-County Council President Maggie Lewis.

Grace's report indicates that the United Way is vying with Lewis' choice of the Central Indiana Community Foundation to take over the role of administering the crime prevention coalition. Lewis' choice has a board made of powerful attorneys and lobbyists who have contributed to her campaign committee, and who have a vested interest in ingratiating themselves with her to curry favor for the themselves and the clients they represent. Local news media have also ignored this blog's reporting of the fact that Lewis' largest campaign contribution last year was a contribution illegally donated to her campaign committee by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is controlled by a Chicago minority-owned business that has received city contracts in the past.

This is just another example of how you simply cannot trust the local media to honestly report on matters of public concern. In this case, you see the media becoming a complicit co-conspirator after the fact in the commission of wrongdoing by an elected public official. Your support of those of us who are trying to keep the politicians honest, is always appreciated. Somebody has to do it.


Flogger said...

I guess the first question should be is: Are these Grants at all effective??? The we can ask the second question of the relationships between these Organizations and the Political Leadership.

Boss Tweed of the 19 Century would certainly recognize the new system of Patronage we have.

Years ago I came across this quote. "Have you considered the responsibility of Knowledge, the Crime of unrevealed facts?"

Our Mega-Media's guiding principles are simply to decide to not report, or leave out certain facts.

Verna said...

This is cool!