Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pence Failed To Disclose Ties To East Chicago Case

As she kicked off her campaign for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General, Linda Pence criticized Attorney General Steve Carter's office and, by implication, her GOP opponent Greg Zoeller, the office's Chief Deputy, for his handling of a RICO action against numerous defendants tied to East Chicago political corruption in Lake County. Pence told reporters she would re-examine the case if she is elected before continuing the fight Carter started to clean up corruption in Lake County. What Pence didn't disclose to reporters when she commented on the case was the fact that she had personally represented one of the co-defendants in the case. The Big Dawg Tales blog uncovered court records showing that Pence entered an appearance in the case on April 17, 2004 for Rieth Riley. Pence's client recently settled out-of-court by agreeing to repay taxpayers $625,000. Scott Fluhr of Hoosier Pundit notes the hypocrisy in Pence's criticism of the RICO case against East Chicago in light of this new disclosure:

Linda Pence is complaining about the AG's office paying outside counsel for work on the case.Her client's settlement, alone, paid for the legal fees of the outside counsel twice over.

Linda Pence said that she needed to examine the case before pledging to continue it.

She is already intimately familiar with the case itself.From when she entered her appearance for Reith-Riley Construction, her clients, in November of
2004 until they settled out of court in early 2006 (around February), Linda Pence was an active litigator in the sidewalks-for-votes case for well over a year.

When it comes to the biggest case of Lake County corruption in history, Linda Pence's claims of a willingness to continue fighting corruption in the Region don't just ring false. When you look at the facts and the record, she might as well not make any such claims at all.

Such an aversion to the truth would certainly not speak well of any candidate for attorney general of the state of Indiana.

Ouch! Do you think Indiana Democrats might start looking for another candidate for Attorney General? It appears to me that Linda Pence would have a professional duty to recuse herself from participating in this case if she is elected Attorney General because of her past representation of one of the defendants. She might be stuck with outside counsel whether she likes it or not--if she chooses to continue the fight.


Unknown said...

I've mentioned this before. I know someone who had solid evidence of ghost employment in the Lake County Prosecutor's Office. Rather than investigate the claim, the AG's office immediately leaped to defend the Prosecutor without ever bothering to check out the facts. Sorry, Gary, but the notion that Steve Carter is this great fighter of corruption in Lake County is a stretch rings very hollow. It's mostly been the U.S. Attorney's office doing the work.

It should be pointed out that the Indiana AG as opposed to many states, does not have prosecutorial powers.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Actually, flynn, Gary wasn't talking about the AG's office.

He was talking about Linda Pence, a democrat running for the office that evidently lied about this whole thing.

Quit changing the subject.

Unknown said...

Concerned, you completely missed the point. Gary has talked about AG Carter's pursuit of corruption in Lake County. He's talked about Pence having a conflict in that regard. What I simply pointed out was that AG Carter does not have clean hands when it comes to the issue of ghost employment in Lake County offices.