Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ketzenberger Notes Paul Ogden's Activism

Star business columnist John Ketzenberger takes a look at the "activist lawyer work" of Paul Ogden today. Judging from the content of the column, some of Ketzenberger's friends in the business community aren't too happy with Ogden's recent efforts. Ketzenberger writes:

What's gotten into local attorney Paul Ogden?

A Republican and former political candidate, he has the public-private partnerships long championed by power brokers of both parties squarely in his sights.

The 47-year-old associate with Roberts & Bishop isn't well known in the business community, but the effect of his work is being felt through his clients' lawsuits. Among them:

» In March he sued the Capital Improvement Board over plans to turn over proceeds from the auction of RCA Dome memorabilia to the Indiana Sports Corp. and the Indianapolis Colts Foundation. Ogden argued the money should be used to pay down the $75 million debt related to the dome.

The CIB last month settled the lawsuit and paid nearly $7,900 to cover attorney's fees. The case ended without settling key questions such as who owns the dome's turf.

» Two lawsuits against Corrections Corp. of America relate to the operation and conditions at Marion County Jail II. The first lawsuit, filed in January, alleges racial discrimination against six black nurses. The second, brought in April, raises questions about inmates' medical care.

To Ogden, who favors privatization, both lawsuits point up a weakness of such deals -- ineffective oversight of contractors.

So where does this activism come from?

"I spent years and years playing the Republican game," Ogden said. "It got me nowhere. I decided at some point to be who I am, to talk straight and do what I think is right."

It has won him friends -- and enemies. It's telling that calls to several people weren't returned. Those who did talk wouldn't comment for the record.

What's up next for Ogden? "[A] 22-year-old deal that made Pan Am Plaza possible," he tells Ketzenberger. Keep up the good work, Paul.

1 comment:

jed said...

I wish Mr Ogden would look into the Speedway Redevelopment. The town is taking homes and businessess away to make more room for Tony George and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They are borrowing money that cannot possible be paid back with TIF since they are getting rid of businesses instead of bringing them in. Commision members familys are making money by doing the Brownsfield studies and owning businesses on Main Street which is on an acquistion list and a Town Council member bought a building on Main St 1 month after the SRC was formed. He is now on the acquistion list and stands to make alot of money in just 3 years.
There is no communication between the SRC and stakeholders and with eminent domain in the future it could get ugly.