Wednesday, January 06, 2010

More Troubling Brizzi Ties?

Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi listed on a financial disclosure statement that he filed last year during his aborted run for Indiana's Fifth congressional district seat property he owned at 6621 Reserve Drive in Indianapolis. A search of the Marion County Assessor's assessment database identifies the property among several owned by Brizzi in Marion County; however, a closer examination of those records reveals that powerful State House lobbyist James Purucker is listed as the current owner of the property. The property had a 2009 gross assessed value of $166,200, which is down $11,000 from its 2008 gross assessed value. Brizzi estimated the value of the asset on his federal disclosure between $50,001 and $100,000. He disclosed a mortgage with the National Bank of Indianapolis on the property between $100,001 and $250,000.

Purucker lobbies for Centaur and the Indiana Spirits and Wine Wholesalers among other clients. He was a focus of media attention during investigations of the lobbying activities of the gaming industry during the 1990s. Former Marion Co. Prosecutor Scott Newman indicted the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, former Rep. Sam Turpin (R-Brownsburg), on bribery charges. An Indianapolis Star investigation uncovered the fact that Turpin had moved into Purucker's home after Turpin's wife filed for divorce. According to news reports, Newman executed a search warrant on Purucker during that investigation and seized his computers. One of Brizzi's business partners in Harry & Izzy's, Craig Huse, owns an interest in Centaur, the gaming company that owns the Anderson race track and racino and is one of Purucker's lobbying clients. Similarly, Brizzi moved in with alleged Ponzi scheme operator Tim Durham briefly during his divorce last year. Purucker has also donated thousands of dollars to Brizzi's campaign committee.

Previously, questions have been raised on this blog and elsewhere in the Indianapolis media about Brizzi's stock ownerships, which seem to mirror the investments made by Durham and involve companies that are the subject of securities law violations. Brizzi has also made extensive real estate investments with political insider and real estate developer John Bales that have raised eyebrows. It is difficult to believe that Brizzi could have afforded so many stock and real estate investments on his $125,000 a year prosecutor's salary.

Brizzi has yet to declare his intentions concerning re-election, notwithstanding the fact that the deadline for filing for the Republican slating convention next month is January 14. The Star's Jon Murray has more on the speculation surrounding Brizzi in a story in today's edition. Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John tells Murray that the GOP will have "a strong candidate" regardless of whether Brizzi runs for re-election. Not surprisingly, Marion Co. Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy says his party would welcome a Brizzi re-election bid.


Paul K. Ogden said...

I think there will be a fervent search for the sales disclosure that will show the sales price. They couldn't have recorded the deed without it.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Actually - I was pulling sales disclosures just yesterday for another matter. I was told that the disclosure of the sales price was not enforced until two years ago. Half the ones I pulled had no price.

But, still worth looking for it. Curious the discrepancy between Brizzi's estimate of the house's value and the amount of mortgage he was able to procure.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I assume that was his estimate of the net value of the property.

M Theory said...

You guys, you know that Brizzi and Tom John's GOP is not about good policy. It's about contracts and the money. That's all.

Otherwise, they would court a good honorable person to put up as prosecutor. Like that really great person, Liz, who organizes the Washington Township GOP Club.

She's really friendly. Invited me to go and I'm not even a Republican. She also did a lot to help Senator Scott Scheider and Senator Delph.

Why aren't they talking to Liz?

She's a very dedicated Republican. And for that matter so are you and Paul Ogden. You all are lawyers and VERY involved in the party.

Appearances sure do seem like Tom John won't associate with the decent Republicans, only the crooks.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I was attorney for a title company 2004-2006, did a number of closings, and I am dumbfounded to learn that sales prices aren't being put on sales disclosure forms. That's was the whole original purpose of enacting the sales disclosure form - to disclose the sales price so that the legislature could figure out if the assessments were fair.

As I was writing this I got an email from the lead abstractor from my old title company. She swears that every sales disclosure must have a sales price on it.

By the way I heard that the Purucker-Brizzi sales disclosure does not have a price.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Investigating Brizzi is like shooting fish in a barrel. Too bad we don't have a federal prosecutor in this town who will do something about it.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Explain yourself, Carl. What in the world have you gotten yourself involved in, all the while being our county prosecutor???