The City-County Council has now agreed to authorize the borrowing of $12 million to pay off the millions in bills illegally encumbered by Mayor Ballard and since there are no appropriated funds left in this year's budget to raid to pay the bills. It's just another example of how the rule of law means nothing and how our City-County Council has completely abrogated its role as the legislative branch of our local government. Recipients of these illegal bills include:
- $4.7 million to the architectural and design firm of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassebaum of St. Louis;
- $3 million to Austin, Texas-based KPMG Corporate Finance, which oversaw the financial transaction between the city and the developer; and
- $3 million to the Indianapolis law firm of Bingham Greenbaum Doll
The City also still owes Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett's law firm, Bose McKinney & Evans for $300,000 of the $750,000 it agreed to pay his law firm to convince the City-County Council to approve the criminal justice center deal. Despite his obvious conflict of interest, Hogsett publicly spoke out against the proposal during this year's election and urged City-County Council members to reject the deal. At least his law firm had a taxpayer gift to cover the big six-figure salary he was paid to campaign full-time for mayor while not having billable hour requirements typically expected of partners at big law firms, or to cover the more than $300,000 in campaign contributions the firm made to his campaign, however you choose to look at it.