Saturday, August 23, 2014

Citizen Complaint Takes Town Council Member To Task Over Multiple Offices

In the day time, Rob Kendall works as a full-time state employee as executive director of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy earning $45,500 a year. By night, he serves as an elected member of Brownsburg's town council earning $13,703 a year. In addition, he serves in two appointed roles as a member of the Brownsburg Redevelopment Commission and Hendricks County Solid Waste Management Board where he is paid $100 a meeting. Call 6's Kara Kenney says a complaint filed by citizens accusing Kendall of violating state law against holding more than one lucrative office has led to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the complaint.

The complaint against Kendall arises from a provision in the Indiana Constitution, Article II, Section 9 which prohibits a person from holding more than one lucrative office at the same time. The remedy for violation of the law is typically resolved by the person being deemed to have resigned the lucrative office that barred them from holding a second lucrative office. Sometimes state law requires someone holding a lucrative office to simultaneously serve as a member of another board of commission, in which case the constitutional prohibition is not violated. It wouldn't seem kosher to me that Kendall could serve both on the Brownsburg town council and as an appointed member of its redevelopment commission, while being paid to hold both positions. A member of the town's council may be required by state law to serve on the county's solid waste management board.

There's also a question of whether Kendall's position as executive director of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy is considered a lucrative office or just a regular state employee. The position is referenced in the statute creating the board as being the official responsible for maintaining the board's records. This is the second job Kendall has had in state government. When Gov. Mike Pence appointed Dwayne Sawyer as the state's new auditor to fill the position vacated by Tim Berry, Sawyer named Kendall as his communications director. Kendall left that position after Gov. Pence forced Sawyer to resign for reasons that have never been publicly disclosed. Kendall was later appointed by Pence to serve as the pharmacy board's executive director.

It's not at all uncommon for people to serve in paid positions as elected part-time public officials and also hold other full-time government jobs. For years, people have been allowed to serve on city councils and work for city government at the same time, which I've always thought violated the separation of powers provision of the state constitution. State lawmakers finally passed a state law that now compels people elected to a local legislative body to resign their job working for that same government entity before taking office. That led to City-County Councilor Vernon Brown, who is a fire department battalion chief, to resign from the council rather than run for re-election; however, he is a candidate this year for Warren Township Trustee and supposedly plans to hold both positions if he's elected. Councilor Steve Talley, a civilian IMPD employee, is running for Lawrence Township Trustee this year as well. Councilor Mary Moriarty-Adams will also have to choose between working for the assessor's office and serving on the City-County Council. When Mayor Ballard appointed Gary Coons as Indianapolis' director of homeland security, he at first kept his other job as Perry Township Trustee. After questions were raised, Coons was forced to give up his job as Perry Township Trustee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe this guy can squeeze in time
to also serve as a paid cop for a neighboring town and to be a bailiff
for a Judge in a nearby county?