|Michael G. Browning|
“Browning Investments has been an integral part of helping Indianapolis grow for nearly 40 years, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial projects that have contributed to economic development,” said John Hirschman, Browning Investments’ President/CEO, in a statement to Call 6 Investigates.“We're very dedicated to seeing the city be as successful as it can be. As part of that aim, Browning Investments supports the local election and political process -- for both parties and across issues.”
Hirschman said the company has contributed just under $8,000 to both candidate election campaigns in 2015.
As for Hogsett, his team pointed out the inaugural ball is completely separate from the January 1, bipartisan swearing in ceremony.
"In the tradition of numerous Indianapolis mayors, the campaign will be hosting an inaugural gala as a fundraising event,” said Hogsett for Indianapolis finance director, Emily Gurwitz. “This celebration is political in nature and separate from the efforts underway by Mayor-elect Hogsett and his transition team to address critical community issues like public safety and neighborhood development."Browning's bio on his company's website boasts that he "has played an active role in the Indianapolis "public-private" partnership. Translated, that means tens of millions of your tax dollars have gone straight into the multi-millionaire real estate developer's pockets in exchange for the very generous campaign contributions he makes to politicians like Joe Hogsett. It's just further proof that Hogsett lied to Indianapolis voters when he promised to "take on the downtown insiders who cheat the system and steal your tax dollars." Happy New Year!. The next four years are going to be very profitable for the Browning household regardless of the fortunes that lie ahead for you and me.
In other news, Hogsett belatedly announced some key executive staff appointments on the eve of his swearing-in as Indianapolis mayor. The most disappointing appointment comes in the critical city controller's job. Hogsett passed over the imminently more qualified City-County Council CFO Bart Brown to pick Fady Qaddoura, a former FSSA project manager. Qaddoura's past experience does not even remotely qualify him to serve competently as the city's controller.
Hogsett named Angela Smith Jones, a senior staff member of the extremely corrupt Indy Chamber of Commerce as his deputy mayor for economic development. Hope Tribble, who struggled and stumbled as the City-County Council's CFO during much of the Ballard administration, has been named director of Audit and Finance.
Hogsett made a solid choice in Andrew Mallon to serve as corporation counsel. Mallon, an attorney in private practice, has served as counsel for the Marion Co. Election Board.
A lobbyist at Hogsett's law firm, Ahmed Young, will head up the Office of Education Innovation. That's quite fitting putting a lobbyist in charge of that office given that the Indianapolis charter school program has been nothing more than an extension of the mayor's campaign committee during the past two mayors.
Hogsett's campaign communications director, Taylor Schaffer, will become the mayor's communications director. An attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels, Timothy Moriarty, will serve as special counsel to the mayor. Hogsett previously announced his campaign manager, Thomas Cook, would serve as his chief of staff.