Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Judge Keele Shuts Down Browning Investments' Bullying Tactics
Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele has slapped down an attempt by attorneys for Browning Investments to punish the owner of Good Earth Natural Foods for having the audacity to appeal a zoning variance the Metropolitan Development Commission granted for its mixed use development project in Broad Ripple. Attorneys for Browning Investments asked Judge Keele to assess a $1 million penalty against the business owner if his appeal proves unsuccessful for damages it claims it will sustain from the delay in starting a project that is being funded with a $5.7 million subsidy courtesy of Indianapolis taxpayers. Judge Keele ruled that there was no statutory or case law to support Browning Investments' extraordinary request for relief according to the Indianapolis Star. Good Earth's attorney described Browning's motion as "a sad commentary on big business versus small business." If Judge Keele had granted Browning's motion, Good Earth's owner and another Broad Ripple resident pursuing the appeal would have been forced to come up with at least $100,000 in cash to post the $1 million bond.