Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Kelty To Face Grand Jury

The special prosecutor investigating nearly $160,000 in loans Fort Wayne GOP mayoral candidate Matt Kelty received from campaign supporters but failed to disclose prior to the May primary election has asked an Allen Co. judge to empanel a grand jury. Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler tells the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Benjamin Lanka the "biggest reason" for empaneling the grand jury "is just to get people's stories down." Kelty's reaction to the announcement says it all. “Even though it’s not a surprise, I was hoping he would find no merit in the complaint and simply say so,” Kelty said. In other words, do the same thing the Allen Co. Election Board did and focus entirely on what the law means instead of what Kelty actually did, or in this case, did not do.

It is quite possible Sigler has already decided in his own mind what the law required Kelty to disclose, and Sigler is merely using the grand jury to get Kelty and other key figures to state under oath facts proving Kelty violated the law. Further, a grand jury vote to indict Kelty might be perceived as lending more credibility to the alleged crime Kelty committed. It would also help the special prosecutor determine whether a potential jury would perceive the alleged wrongdoing as too trivial to bother with a prosecution.

Sigler tells Lanka he doesn't expect the grand jury to start hearing evidence until early August. That is very bad news for Kelty. It means this story is going to continue to dominate his campaign at least the balance of the summer. Lanka's story notes that a similar campaign finance investigation of former Mayor Win Moses (D) took three months before a grand jury issued an indictment against him. Moses later pleaded to lesser charges and resigned his office. Democratic committeemen later reappointed him. Moses went on to lose the next election to Paul Helmke (R). In 1992, Moses won a seat in the Indiana House, which he still holds today. Ironically, he nearly lost his seat in a contested race a few years later to Matt Kelty.


Anonymous said...

Calling Saviour Bopp! Savior Bopp to Allen County, please!

Wilson46201 said...

I wonder how much of Kelty's ill-gotten "loan" will be eaten up by legal costs defending this attempted end-run-around campaign finance laws?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I'm sure even a discounted rate for an attorney with an 80% batting average before the Supreme Court would cost $400/hour.