Thursday, May 29, 2014
Public Defender Board Re-Appointee Withdraws Name From Further Consideration
After this blog raised questions about the re-appointment of Jennifer Lukemeyer to the Marion Co. Public Defender Board because of her role in facilitating the payment of campaign contributions to former chief deputy prosecutor David Wyser by her client's father in exchange for a sentence modification that allowed her client, a woman convicted of hiring a hit man to murder her husband, after serving only a fraction of her sentence, Democratic council members moved to recommit the proposal re-appointing her to the board to the Public Safety Committee where it had earlier been voted out unanimously for further consideration.
Federal prosecutors charged Wyser with bribery, a charge to which he later voluntarily pleaded guilty. Wyser later received probation only for his offense and was suspended from the practice of law. Wyser's boss, former Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, faced no charges despite accepting more than $30,000 in campaign contributions from Harrison Epperly, the father of Lukemeyer's client. Neither Brizzi nor Lukemeyer faced a complaint against their law licenses by the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission despite the stain the ordeal left on the public's confidence in the judicial system.
When the committee met on May 22, Councilor Mary Moriarty-Adams announced that Lukemeyer had asked that her name be withdrawn from further consideration rather than face questions about her role in the Wyser bribery affair. With that, committee members voted to recommend striking her re-appointment from the proposal and sending it to the full council for approval. Council Democrats should be applauded for their action. The same can't be said for Republican council members, who condemned Democratic members for not approving Lukemeyer's re-appointment when it was before the full council and voted against sending her re-appointment back to committee.