Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sheriff Anderson Owes The Public Answers

"There is no room for politics in public safety," Sheriff Frank Anderson told the Indianapolis-Marion County Law Enforcement Consolidation Committee on July 6, 2005. Yet, the past two weeks his department has essentially been turned into an arm of the Andre Carson campaign for Congress. Top ranking members of his department appeared in full uniform at a press conference Carson held during the work day with former U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer, a former 9/11 Commission member, along with other so-called "first responders." WTHR video coverage clearly showed members of Anderson's department, including Chief Deputy Kerry Forestal, sitting at the table during the press conference with Carson and Roemer. Subsequently, the same, fully-uniformed members of Anderson's staff have appeared in campaign commercials and direct mail advertising with Carson. Anderson, himself, later appeared at a joint press conference with U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth at the nonprofit Forest Manor Multi-Service Center with Carson signs plastered everywhere to endorse Carson's campaign.

Two days ago, citizen activist Adam Longworth, disgusted at what he saw, filed a complaint with the Marion County Board of Elections. In his complaint, Longworth conceded that the mere act of being photographed in uniform with a candidate was permitted under Indiana law. Today, I received a copy of the proposed letter (dated February 29, 2008) from the Board dismissing the complaint in part because of the exemption Longworth cited. "This exception appears to permit the actions you allege with regard to the appearance of uniformed officers in campaign advertisements," Andy Mallon writes in his response to Longworth's complaint. Mallon, however, conceded Longworth's complaint alleged potential actionable items concerning the location of the filming and photographing, although omitting the possibility of law violations occurring because the officers performed these acts while on duty. "In addition, the Election Board has reviewed your other allegations regarding the locations of acts you assert were taken by certain uniformed officers in light of the violations listed in IC 3-14-1 et seq over which the Election Board would have investigative jurisdiction," Mallon writes. Apparently, proving once again just how useless the Election Board is as an investigative body, Mallon's investigation consisted of one phone call to the Sheriff's legal counsel and the case was closed. Mallon writes:

Although it is not clear that the Election Board would have investigative jurisdiction over all of the matters you raise, the Election Board has taken the step of contacting legal counsel for the Marion County Sheriff's Department to determine whether that department could add any detail or context regarding your allegations. Based on that communication with the Sheriff's Department, we are not able to confirm your allegations that Sheriff's Department property was used for a Carson campaign "photo shoot" or that any unlawful conduct occurred as a result of the attendance by uniformed officers at "press conferences." Therefore, the Election Board does not have substantial reason to believe an election law violation has occurred, and no further investigation is warranted under IC 3-6-5-31 at this time.

Mallon's letter notes that Longworth failed to provide any copies of the complained of materials to support his allegation. Well, the phone call with Kevin Murray may have been good enough for Mallon but it's not good enough for public accountability. Mr. Murray, or his client Sheriff Anderson, need to tell the public now: 1) Who asked these law enforcement officers to participate in Carson's press conferences in full uniform and show up at a filming location to make commercials and campaign photos for the Carson campaign? 2) Were there any inter-office memoranda, letters or e-mails discussing the participation of Sheriff's department employees in these events? If so, let's see them. 3) What are the names of all members of the Sheriff's department who participated in these Carson campaign events? 4) What is the time and place where each of these acts occurred? 5) What is the stated working hours of each of the Sheriff's department employees who participated at these political events? 5) If any of these employees requested time off to engage in these political events, lets see the dated and signed requests of each of them. Until Sheriff Anderson's office provides answers to these questions, the public has a right to question whether his office is as interested in serving the public safety needs of Marion County as it is in the election of Andre Carson to Congress.


indyernie said...

Kerry Forestall called me today and stated on a voice message that the photos were not taken at the jail. However the location if the site was not disclosed in the voice mail.
GaryJ was told that the photos were not taken at the jail but was not provided any info on the site of the shoot.
Clearly the MCSD does not want to release the location. If the shoot was done legally, why is the MCSD hiding the location?
The MCSD and IMPD have control over city and county leased and owned properties, Chief Forestall has access to these properties. The location needs to be disclosed.

Anonymous said...

He does owe us an explanation. You're right.

But this is really just a warning to you, WilsonWhack is coming. Because you have dared to criticize one of the Center gang's most prized officerholders.

Furthermore, by the logic Wilson employs, you're white, Anderson's black, so you must be wrong.


Anonymous said...

Forestal has just been "Honeycutt" by the Carson political machine. Use them, abuse them and leave 'em behind like roadkill.

Anonymous said...

6:34--Gene Honeycutt's ultimate downfall was his own indiscretion, and had nothing to do with the Carson machine.

By the time he'd slit his own political wrists with free lap dances and God knows what else, he'd shed so much political blood no tranfusion could help. Not even a Julia hand-up would help.

So, instead of doing something, they did nothing, and thus the bus was started to run over Gene. And that goof Dugan.

Their pain was entirely self-inflicted. Their political savior, who'd helped them get the jobs in the first place, and who'd insisted they hire her grandson, turned her back. She didn't help, she didn't push. But when the bus came, she stepped aside without offering up a warning to a friend.

Anonymous said...

"There is no room for politics in public safety," Sheriff Frank Anderson

People should choose their words a little more carefully, you never know when they are going to come back to bite you in the butt.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing is plain bull shit and Gary you dam well know it. Man-up.


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone ask Carson where the ads were shot? Seems simple enough.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Honeycutt took himself out with his "indiscretions, but he did nothing that alot of "others" in law enforcement and high up positions had not done. And yes he took the bullet that Newman shot at him and yes he got ran over by the bus several times. Did he pay the price? Yes! Did at anytime even quietly did the democraps help? NO!! Teamplayer? Yes! Did they care? No! Stop shooting a dead horse. Time does not heal all wounds. Pain last forever. But the mind remembers everything.