Monday, February 10, 2014

Curry Denies Ten Points Investigation Is Politically Motivated

The administration of Mayor Greg Ballard launched an offensive against Marion Co. Prosecutor Terry Curry after it learned about a grand jury search warrant served on the Ten Points Coalition street outreach coordinator Byron Alston last week, in particular through their paid media hack Abdul-Hakim Shabazz and WRTV's Jack Rinehart, encouraged by the mayor's spokesman, Marc Lotter. The claim that the investigation was a political witch hunt by Curry's office is based on claims by Alston that he was questioned about a payment offer made by an unnamed Republican to the organization. Additionally, it was said that IMPD Chief Rick Hite and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs were excluded from knowledge about the investigation, which reportedly included federal and state police investigators, along with Marion County Sheriff's Department officials.

Fox59 News Russ McQuaid, who broke the story last week after Alston spoke to him, apparently at the direction of the Ballard administration, spoke to Curry, who disputes the charge that the investigation is motivated by politics. Curry claims that both Hite and Riggs knew in advance of the search warrant being served. “We thought the statement was over the top and as I’ve also shared with the Mayor’s office after the fact, I specifically discussed the circumstances of this particular matter with Chief Hite and Director Riggs,” Prosecutor Terry Curry said. “So, the suggestion that it was politically motivated is just dead wrong.” When WRTV's Rinehart days earlier raised the charges made by the administration against the prosecutor, Curry reacted angrily:
"We are offended by the suggestion of the mayor's office that this investigation is politically motivated. It is an insult to not only the integrity of the Marion County Prosecutor's Office but to our law enforcement partners. We have made great strides in the last three years to restore trust and integrity to this office and to suggest otherwise is unwarranted and inflammatory," Curry said in a statement.

Based on information gathered by this blogger, it would have been understandable if both Riggs and Hite had been excluded from any discussions about the investigation. Arguably, to have shared anything with the two could have compromised the entire investigation based on the information I've learned. Unfortunately, both Riggs and Hite have unnecessarily interjected themselves into political matters, compromising their independent public safety and policing obligations. In fact, I wonder if this entire specter that played out last week isn't a set up by people seeking to deflect investigators' attention away from a separate investigation in an effort to discredit an ongoing investigation.

By the way, WRTV's Jack Rinehart doesn't come off looking very well in Melyssa Hubbard's new book, "Spanking City Hall." Hubbard describes how Rinehart showed up at her door to ask about a code enforcement action the administration of former Mayor Bart Peterson had brought against her adult business against the advice of his corporation counsel's office before she had even been served a copy of the lawsuit. Shortly after Rinehart arrived at her doorstep, a sheriff's deputy appeared to personally serve her with the lawsuit in Rinehart's presence. It was quite obvious that Rinehart allowed himself to be used by the Peterson administration to carry out what was clearly a politically-motivated prosecution of her business, one that Peterson would rue after Hubbard later helped organize the Tea Party movement that succeeded in ousting him from office in 2007.


Anonymous said...

Question: what means does the Mayor have to open an investigation?

Further, that Curry's investigation may generate targets from the political realm doesn't mean that an investigation is "politically motivated."

Ballard isn't immunized from the acts of his henchmen merely by crying "political activity!"

Unigov said...

Jeez, I can hardly keep up with Ballard's machinations. He is Mussolini redux.

Anonymous said...

Curry needs to convene a grand jury investigation into the actions of Frank Straub.

Where did our tax money go? -How was remodeling an office for Frank Straub complete with a shower authorized? Questions about the Super Bowl and $$$ need grand jury review. Junkets out of town for unspecified business, "consultants" with prior relationships to Frank Straub paid with tax money to do what city employees could have done, Was he allowed to sign that contract for the Regional Operations Center without Corporation Counsel review? That Regional Operations Center stinks of corruption...a highly unusual lease agreement, key financial documents are missing.

Curry really needs to convene a grand jury into that and find out the truth.

Anonymous said...

this city is going down the tubes ,corruption and know one in this city cares ,just keep charging the taxpayers.we all should be politicans they are above the law and most get very rich..