Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ballard's Former Personal Assistant Pleads Guilty In Land Bank Scam

A former personal assistant to Mayor Greg Ballard and special projects manager for the Department of Metropolitan Development, John Hawkins, has pleaded guilty to one count of federal wire fraud in connection with kickbacks he received from the sale of abandoned property by the City's Land Bank to a nonprofit group according to the Star's Jon Murray. "The plea agreement says Hawkins’ potential penalty ranges from no time in prison to 20 years," Murray writes.

Four other persons charged in the scam are awaiting trial, including Reginald Walton, the Department's assistant director in charge of the City's abandoned property program. Three others awaiting trial include: David Johnson, 47, executive director of the Indiana Minority AIDS Coalition; Randall K. Sargent, 57, president of New Day Residential Development; and Aaron Reed, 35, Walton's partner in the for-profit Naptown Housing Group. The defendants face a number of charges, including wire fraud, bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

UPDATE: It looks like Reginald Walton had cooked up another kickback scheme concerning a mowing contract for properties held by the Land Bank. The U.S. Attorney's Office also announced new charges against Walton and the mowing contractor, Mark Harsley, who was awarded a one-year, not-to-exceed contract of $40,000. Harsley has been employed as a legislative liaison for the Department of Workforce Development. According to the indictment against the two, Walton did not actually receive any kickbacks; rather, he had merely solicited them from Harsley. Walton was indicted last spring before Harsley received his first payment under the contract.

This is still small-time crap to give the impression that Hogsett's office is actually prosecuting public corruption. The big cases involving much larger sums of money go unprosecuted. Nobody cares about these affirmative action hires that Ballard only put on the city payroll to give the black community the impression he was doing something for them. Where was Olgen Williams and Greg Wilson while all this stuff was taking place? They put these hucksters in their jobs without regards to their qualifications. They've also been at the forefront in pushing an affirmative action plan for hiring persons with prior criminal records. How's that working for you, Greg?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Think this has to do with the lowered Indianapolis bond rating announced today?

Gary R. Welsh said...

No relationship whatsoever.

Pete Boggs said...

Forgive the anon here, but Messrs Williams & Wilson are deeply disappointed by these developments. Redemption is a Christian possibility, that all, regardless of faith, will require at some time or another...

Anonymous said...

Hey, Pete Boggs: Crime & Corruption...I believe that the lowered bond rating had everything to do....NOT with redemption, but with EVIL! All evil, regardless of faith, is EVIL.

Anonymous said...

This guy used to work with DWD! Somebody should make Hogsett's worthless behind investigate the cesspool that is DWD! Hogsett should also look into FSSA and IURC! If not him we the people must fight to oust the slime that has been allowed to destroy the Hoosier state and to get rid of the feckless fellow travlers in the press and their lackeys in both parties! Your days are numbered you slime!

Flogger said...

The Star needs to hype up Joe Hogesett's potential run for Mayor. I can see another column in The Star touting Fighting Joe Hogsett being tough on Crime.

Gary R. Welsh said...

S&P implemented new guidelines for its GO bond ratings, which played a lot into the lower rating. Based on its new guidelines, Indianapolis is carrying too much debt, coupled with the Ballard administration playing up the self-inflicted "budget deficit" it contrived for the sole purpose of forcing through another general tax increase. If it would simply stop diverting all of the property tax revenues into TIF districts where it piles on more debt so it can pass out hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks to the mayor's contributors, we would have a AAA bond rating.

Michell Jackel said...

This is still small-time crap to give the impression that Hogsett's office is actually prosecuting public corruption.
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