Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Citizen Ethics Complaint Filed Against Carson

A frequent citizen attendee at Indianapolis City-County Council meetings has filed an ethics complaint with Council President Robert Cockrum against Councilor Andre Carson (D). Ernie Shearer claims in his complaint that Carson became angry with him when he questioned him after the last council meeting about his vote against transferring control of IMPD from the sheriff's department to the mayor. He says Carson started shouting at him and ordered him out of the City-County Building. Shearer believes Carson's demeanor towards him was threatening and intimidating. The allegations laid out in Shearer's complaint are as follows:

Immediately following the City Country meeting on Monday Feb. 11, 2008 I asked Councilman Andre Carson a question about his vote in the transfer of IMPD back to the Mayor. I asked in general why his votes were along party line and not based on what was best for the public safety of Indianapolis. I followed that question with another. “If elected to Congress are you going to represent the citizens of the 7th or are you going to vote party line and follow the lead of the democrat caucus?”

Councilman Carson at this time became very aggressive and with a raised voice he told me that I wasn't going to ask “bating” questions at every City-Council meeting. Councilman Carson then stated that I was “grandstanding” and was only “craving attention“.

Councilman Carson then loudly told me to “get out!” referring to the city-county building. I asked what authority he had to expel me and he became more aggressive and began shouting at me. Councilmen Gray and Bateman had to get him to calm down.

I then, politely and calmly, reminded Councilman Carson that as a citizen of Indianapolis I have a right to be in the city-county building and that I was at a public assembly in a public building and asking questions of a city councilman. At this time Councilman Carson loudly shouted at me with the threat that “he would take measures to see that I wouldn't do it again” (ask question of a councilman again).

I never became aggressive or disrespectful to Councilman Carson. I never raised my voice. I simply asked Councilman Carson why he voted along party lines and he took exception.

Councilman Carson is under the assumption that his seat on the city-county council comes with authority to expel citizens from public buildings. I believe that Councilman Carson intentionally and with malice tried to intimidate and silence me at a public assembly. Councilman Carson through intimidation tried to force me into exiting the city-county building.

Councilman Carson’s shouting and threats reek of intimidation and were very unprofessional and unethical.

Councilman Carson was elected to Represent the citizens of Indianapolis, making threats and ordering citizens to leave a public building is not representation.

I’m requesting a full investigation of this matter and request that Councilman Carson be charged with ethics violations if warranted.
Perhaps an even more serious matter for the council to consider is Carson's use of local law enforcement officers at a staged campaign event last Friday. Carson used Chief Deputy Kerry Forestal and other local law enforcement officers as stage props at a press conference he conducted for his congressional campaign last Friday to tout his credentials on homeland security. This clearly was improper. Uniformed police officers have no business participating in Carson's political events.


Anonymous said...

Mind you, Forestal is the hand picked hopefull successor to Sheriff Anderson.

And Sheriff Anderson said no room in law enforcement for politics. haha.

Ten days and counting until IMPD no longer has any ties to Sheriff Anderson and can begin to become a professional department again.

Wilson46201 said...

Ernie Shearer conveniently omits that after the previous Council meeting, he tried to confront André Carson about his religion. This time Ernie (who lives 8 miles from Carson's council district!) tried to confront Carson about his Council votes...

Ernie was simply up to his usual bluster and bravado -- this time he wasn't wearing his Fat Yellow Chicken outfit!

Anonymous said...

How DARE an ordinary citizen asked the coronated Carson a question! Off with his heaed.

Seriously, I know Ernie Shearer. He is a straight up, honest guy.

Anonymous said...

I often email CCC members from other CCC districts requesting information or clarification on their positions just as Mr. Shearer did. I always get a polite response.

Seems Carson could learn from some of his colleagues, Wilson.

Even if this is not deemed unethical, it is completely inappropriate. At a minimum, he must apologize.

indyernie said...

"This time Ernie (who lives 8 miles from Carson's council district!) tried to confront Carson about his Council votes"

Wilson if you are going to comment try to get the facts right.

What’s wrong with asking any councilman to explain their vote?

I've never "confronted" Carson about religion or anything else. I asked Carson about his connection to Louis Farrakhan and why LF spoke at his Grandmothers service. When he explained I took him at his word.

I'm not a "chicken", I won’t be intimidated by you or anyone named Carson.

I live in the 7th district. For a professional "dumpster diver" you're pretty stupid.

Anonymous said...

Ernie, did you see Wilson at the previous Council meeting were he alledged you asked Carson about his religion??? Yeah, I thought so. As one who has attended many a meeting, I only saw him once.

I live in the city. Carson and others are members of CITY council. I have the right to ask questions of any of them. If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen Andre.

Anonymous said...

Wilson - how is your work on the new Carson web site coming ?

Blue Indiana reports it should be ready next week ?

I hope you did not lose your web site manager position ?

Anonymous said...

Ernie keeps talking about a party line vote. This was not a party line vote some Demo's voted for the change and some did not. Ernie seems to want to stir the pot and you must consider the motives of those that like to confront elected officials.

Anonymous said...

Don't bother, Kerry Forestall is not a police officer and he is as unethical, political and unqualified as Frank Anderson!

Just as long as he and layton don't Saprano any more beverage trucks!

Anonymous said...

"Confront" elected officials? Are you freaking serious?

Wilson--I have contacted CCC members outside my district often. All respond promptly, with courtesy.

I doubt that Andre's response to Ernie can be considered an ethics violation. If the city had a Courtesy Complaint Board, then Ernie might have a case.

Miss Manners would not be pleased.

Is Andre taking his manners lessons from Monroe Gray (whom I saw trolling the halls of the Statehouse Monday--now he's a lobbyist? Fitting)?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Monroe Gray and Paul Bateman were the two other councillors who were there to calm Carson?

Does Carson only hang around with other blacks? Aren't there any white Democrats on the Council?

Anonymous said...

Forgive me, but how is getting angry an ethics violation? It appears to me that since this Ernie guy no longer has occasion to wear his chicken suit, he is now attempting to satisfy his craving for attention in other ways.

Look, if Andre Carson reacted as described, it was wrong. Argue that it indicates he does not operate well under pressure but do not attempt to paint this as an "ethical violation" because it has nothing to do with ethics. In actuality, he was behaving openly and honestly by letting Ernie know how he feels - I thought this Ernie fellow wanted honesty in elected officials!

Anonymous said...

8:29--good manners and politle public service, know no racial boundaries.

Your observation is a little off-base.

Who cares the race of councillors who came to Andre's defens,e or Andre's race, for that matter?

He effed up. Which is not a race-specific foul-up.

Wilson46201 said...

There are at least twice as many white Democrats on the Council than Black Republicans on the council (and the GOP is at their all-time high with just 2 African-Americans!)

Anonymous said...

Hum. I seem to recall several uniformed IPD officers showing up along side a female republican running for mayor at a political event. How soon some forget.

Anonymous said...

Again, Wilson...the question is begged:

Why do we care about the race of any councillor, for any reason whatsoever?

Bad manners is bad manners in any culture, race or at any economic level. If Andre had a little more life experience, he might realize that. You win support, when you confront opponents politely and professionally. Andre was not going to change Ernie's mind, but he owed Ernie respect.

Often, life experiences like a four-year undergrad degree expose a student to all kinds of potential life issues, such as rude interactions with others, and how to handle it.

Kinda hard to learn better interpersonal skills with a correspondence two-year degree, huh? Except with the mailman, er mailperson.

Or on the job, when a powerful grammy got you the job, and coworkers are aware of the fact. Folks tend to walk on eggshells arund such employees.

The point of this life lesson via blog, is that with a little more life experience, Andre might make a good councilman. I suspect he will. I do not doubt his desire to serve, and to represent his constituents' wishes. At this level.

But if he already wants a promotion, two things are crystal clear to me: he has lots to learn, and the bar is evidently lower for Congresscritters these days.

Anonymous said...

I wish more citizens would report this type of citizen abuse by public officials in public meetings.

Good job Ernie. I hope all citizens will do the same regardless of party affiliation.

Carson was/is out of line.

Anonymous said...

Oh give me a break with the innocent ernie routine. I'm not a fan of Carson but watch the tape of the council meeting. Ernie was grandstanding and rude during the meeting about nothing germaine to the proposal at hand. Carson did not say anything. Based on Ernie's belligerent behavior in the meeting,I highly doubt Ernie was polite in the hall.

Anonymous said...

Andre? A good councilman? Didn't he take a job, for which is he not qualified, at Cripe Architects?

Doesn't Cripe get most of its work from municipal contracts?

That sure seems a bit fishy to me.

Andre is good for Andre. I seriously doubt he gives a rats ass about any of us.

Anonymous said...

First of all, lambasting Andre about his grandmother's funeral is about as low as you can go....secondly Andre voted for the white female who is the minority leader of the council....quit trying to make Andre into some racist that he is definitely not.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said"
"...quit trying to make Andre into some racist that he is definitely not."

Can we make him into the anti-Semite that he is since has has yet to repudiate LF's comments related to Jews?

If he won't repudiate those comments, I can only arrive at the conclusion that he agrees with them.


Anonymous said...

“Oh give me a break with the innocent ernie routine. I'm not a fan of Carson but watch the tape of the council meeting. Ernie was grandstanding and rude during the meeting about nothing germaine to the proposal at hand.”

I don’t know what tape that you watched but the one I watched showed Ernie as being concerned about public safety. He was critical of a councilperson questioning the ethics of other council members and of playing politics with public safety issues.
That is consistent for Ernie.
Anyone who knows Ernie is aware of his concern for the public safety of Indianapolis. Ernie is considerate of other people and I’ve never seen him be rude to anyone.
The Peterson administration failed to resolve the escalating crime in Indy. Ernie got involved then. Why would he stop until changes are made?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Monroe Gray and Paul Bateman were the two other councillors who were there to calm Carson?

Does Carson only hang around with other blacks? Aren't there any white Democrats on the Council?

Don't play race into this, Wilson!

Anonymous said...

And Wilson Allen was there, just like he always is.
How else would he get so much information? He was there, standing right next to Andre` Carson. Wilson heard it all.

Anonymous said...

It appears Andre learned the very tactics used by grandma Julia Carson for many years with citizens who did not agree with her votes. These are some of her character flaws not mentioned at the funeral.

I would guess Andy Jacobs and Even Bayh will protect him from any charges like they have done in the past for grandma.