Question: Have you been surprised by the extent of the problem?
Hogsett: It’s much broader than I could have imagined. I certainly had an inclination that there was real need for prosecution of these cases. ... It’s at all levels of government.In case you were thinking that Hogsett is shocked by what he's finding, think again. Hogsett's comments elsewhere in the interview are more revealing of what he knew when he agreed to take the job.
What we are really doing is committing resources to public corruption cases that weren’t committed to that area in the past. That’s not a criticism of my predecessors. Every United States Attorney has their priorities. But I put two areas at the forefront: violent crime and public corruption.Bingo. Virtually all of Hogsett's recent predecessors have engaged in the wholesale cover up of massive public corruption cases handed to them by the FBI, including federal prosecutors appointed by both parties. Evan Bayh's handpicked appointee during the Clinton years, Judith Stewart, swept corruption under the rug concerning the awarding of riverboat gaming licenses under the Bayh-run Gaming Commission. U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, a Republican appointee during the George W. Bush administration, swept the theft of the Lawrence water company by cronies of former Lawrence Mayor Tom Schneider under the rug. A lengthy investigative report by the FBI leaked to the media was simply dumped in the trash cash without a single indictment. Apparently that didn't go unnoticed by at least one federal judge with whom Hogsett spoke during his nominating process.
It was not lost on me that the Southern District of Indiana had not seen a profiled public corruption prosecution in probably 15 to 20 years. I had a conversation during the vetting process leading up to my confirmation with a federal district court judge and we talked about this very issue. That judge observed to me there was only one of two possible explanations for that: One, we have the most honest, ethical, above-the-board public officials in the entire land. Or, two, somebody is asleep at the switch. That’s not a criticism. But clearly as an outside observer there sure seemed to be questions of legitimate public concerns that were being overlooked or not pursued.