The cleansing of the ethically-challenged Eric Turner from the Indiana House Republican leadership team proved short-lived. House Republicans chose State Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) to take the place of State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) as floor leader after Friend was elevated to Speaker Pro Tempore, the position previously held by Turner. The Star's Tony Cook recaps what the newspaper's earlier investigation of McMillin's shady dealings revealed:
An Indianapolis Star investigation last year found that he and other government officials in southeastern Indiana supported grants for companies to which they had close family or financial ties. The grants were part of an economic development program funded with public riverboat casino money.
In McMillin's case, he advocated for a $600,000 grant for a project involving Destination Brookville, a company he started in August 2010. The grant would have helped restore a local theater and develop a restaurant in a building owned by the company.
McMillin removed himself from the company before pushing for the project in front of a grant committee of which he was a member. While he did not vote on it, some committee members said he failed to disclose the fact that his mother and family friends had control of the company.
In another instance, McMillin voted for a $500,000 grant for a tractor company without disclosing that his law firm was representing the company. Invoices show McMillin's firm received about $3,200 for title work and other legal services related to the project.
McMillin has said he didn't know his father and only law partner handled that work. He resigned from the grant committee following the Star's investigations.Far more damning information about McMillin's past has been ignored by the Indiana media. Before he became a state lawmaker, there were serious allegations of misconduct leveled against him by a 21-year old, female domestic violence victim he assisted while working as a deputy prosecutor in Dayton, Ohio. The victim later decided she did not want the charges against her ex-boyfriend pursued, but McMillin, who the victim says had developed a sexual interest in her, threatened her if she did not agree to testify. See the affidavit of the crime victim by clicking here.
The crime victim alleged that McMillin once showed up drunk at her apartment and propositioned her while still working on her case. Although he later removed himself from the case, the crime victim alleged that McMillin sent her sexually explicit photos of himself during a period she admits that she briefly became involved in a sexual relationship with him. According to Bilerico, one of the photos showed McMillin masturbating himself while shoving a dildo up his butt. The blog also cited a law enforcement source for an allegation that McMillin was caught having sex with the young woman in his car in a state park. McMillin resigned his job as a deputy prosecutor after his boss learned of the allegations.
The victim later filed a civil lawsuit against McMillin for legal malpractice, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty. The woman later agreed to a voluntary dismissal of her case. McMillin acknowledged that he dated women he met through his work as a prosecutor when the issue arose during his first campaign for state representative. McMillin claimed the woman's allegations in her lawsuit were fabricated, and that her lawsuit was "quickly dismissed" after he showed his "resolve to fully defend and not be strong-armed into any settlement." The Ohio Bar Association declined to pursue disciplinary action against McMillin based on its understanding his sexual relationship with the woman did not commence until after he stopped representing her in the domestic relations matter.
The Bilerico blog also alleged that McMillin had caused a fatal car collision while he was in high school when he was playing a game of leapfrog with friends where participants speed down the road and attempt to keep passing each other while braving the oncoming traffic. "No charges were ever filed against McMillin despite his obvious culpability in the case," Bilerico said. Bilerico also claims that McMillin was forced out of Ball State University in 1996 after members of the school's baseball team accused him of stealing parking lot fees. No criminal charges were filed.