Saturday, April 03, 2010

More On Brizzi Justice

The IBJ's Cory Schouten has another eye-popping story about how Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has repeatedly auctioned off justice to his political and business associates. He cites a major drug felony arrest where the defendant was represented by Brizzi business associate and criminal defense attorney, Paul Page. According to Schouten, Brizzi personally intervened to cut a special deal for Joseph Mobarecki, who Indianapolis police caught with more than $100,000 worth of anabolic steroids, five unlicensed firearms and more than $17,000 in cash. He was initially charged with seven felony counts of possession and dealing, including marijuana. State sentencing guidelines would have called for a sentence of 6 to 10 years in jail. Instead, Brizzi agreed to a plea deal for Mobarecki that allowed him to plead guilty to just one felony possession charge, the least among the charges he faced. Even more shocking, Brizzi allowed $10,000 of Mobarecki's seized money to be turned over to Page to help cover his legal expenses.

According to a police source, I learned more than a year ago that police were wanting to investigate Mobarecki's customer list. Police believed that Mobarecki had been selling the steroids to some prominent professional athletes in the area. Brizzi wanted the case killed to keep the identities of those prominent professional athletes confidential. I believe that was his real motivation for the plea deal with Mobarecki as opposed to his business ties to Paul Page. In the end, Mobarecki only served two days in jail and paid $365 in fines.

Professor Henry Karlson tells Schouten the plea deal violated three basic rules of the Prosecutor's Office. "Typically, plea deals in drug cases keep the most serious felony charge, not the least, Karlson told Schouten. "Defense attorneys usually deal with trial attorneys and not the elected prosecutor." "And most major drug cases lead to substantial forfeiture actions—including cars, homes and cash." “That appears to be a very good plea bargain—the kind of plea bargain lawyers dream about,” Karlson said. “It appears to be a very unusual case with a very unusual plea bargain carried out in a very unusual manner.”

Schouten found two other serious criminal cases where special deals were worked out for defendants represented by attorneys with close ties to Brizzi. An accused rapist who worked for Paul Page and was represented by him copped a plea agreement that allowed him to plead guilty to criminal confinement and serve 365 days on home detention. In another case, Brizzi agreed to modify a felony murder conviction for a man represented by Bruce Donaldson of Barnes & Thornburg. Under the modification, the defendant won a 45-year sentence reduction, allowing him to go free after serving only 10 years of his original 55-year sentence. Then there is also the Harrison Epperly case where Epperly made tens of thousands of dollars of contributions to Brizzi and then won a major sentence reduction for Epperly's daughter, who had hired someone to murder her husband.

I don't know how much more the Marion County Republicans are going to stand by as the slime continues to roll out of Brizzi's office. It's time for the leadership to demand his resignation. He has forfeited his right to hold this public office.


I know said...

This is only the tip of the iceberg. His office under his guidance has covered up crimes involving hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud, conflict of interest and profiteering and then members of his office did not quite tell the truth to the federal agencies looking into some of the mess.

karma09 said...

eyepopping, to say the least.

1. Thanks Gary, for pointing the story out.

2. Thanks IBJ, for the best reporting in the city on what is clearly a dirty office.

3. Thanks Larry Broeder, for trying to stand up to a corrupt administration.

4. Thanks IBJ for also catching on to Wyser's habit of cutting deals with convicted murderers to reduce their sentences, something Hamilton County should be very alarmed about. Wyser's lack of memory about the case betrays that he is either a liar, or careless about his use of power. And also demonstrates, yet again, Hatch Act problems for him out the ying yang. Either way, not fit for public service.

5. Throw both their a$$es out, maybe it will save us from seeing elected officials and candidates escorted to a federal lock-up.

6. Is this enough of an appearance of impropriety for Wyser to quit, or is he still somehow still exempt from his own standard for firing prosecutors.

7. Dirty is as dirty does.

Unknown said...

Did anyone also know that the rapist was released off of house arrest after serving less than his sentence. He also plead guilty to much higher crimes in this case prior to the last deal he recieved.

Unknown said...

wow, the building cost $825k and was purchased just in time to secure the Child Services lease for a reported $280k a year....that is a 3 year recoupmant of his cost, there is no way Brizzi would be sophisticated enough to do a deal like this....and did everyone forget what job Melanie Brizzi (the woman he divorced last year) had just been appointed to? Administrator, Indiana Child
Care Services!

Oh, and it's reportedly a triple net lease. That means the tenant--Child Services--pays all the costs of maintenance, repairs, you name it. So, it's pure profit for Brizzi. Ain't that grand.

Will SOMEONE please put together a petition to recall this blight on our good, honest public servants--there really are some in Indiana!

Paul K. Ogden said...


Melanie Brizzi worked in FSSA, not Child Care Services. Separate agency.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Of course, Brizzi has forfeited his 'right' to hold public office, and thank God Almighty, that Massa and John have now followed your advice, AA, and called for his resignation, in no uncertain terms, clearly stating examples citing some of his reported ethical lapses. Gee!