Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Brainard Tried To Wash Payments To Private Investigator Through Center For Performing Arts

Carmel Mayor James Brainard and the city's chief legal officer, Doug Haney, unilaterally decided to hire International Investigators, Inc. to snoop into the private life of the Center for Performing Arts's former president and CEO, Steven Libman, but after the private investigative firm billed the city about $8,000 for its services, Brainard approached the Center's Interim President and CEO, Frank Basile, and asked the Center to pay the invoice. Current In Carmel reports on what Basile told Carmel city councilors in a meeting last night about the invoice for the private investigator:

Interim President and CEO Frank Basile acknowledged Monday night that Brainard approached the Center to inquire about its willingness to pay for the invoice. Basile said the Center declined, and payments to International Investigators totaling about $8,000 eventually became public knowledge when added to the City Council’s claims runs . . .
The topic arose Monday night after Basile gave a presentation to the council to provide updates on the Center’s current season and comments on its recently released audit and internal review. Afterwards, councilors had follow-up questions for Basile, and Councilman Eric Seidensticker asked about the International Investigators tab.

“… Was the foundation, you or any of your members, were they ever approached and asked to pay for the international investigators invoice?” Seidensticker said.

Basile answered “Yes,” and when asked to identify the person who approached the Center, Basile said “We were asked by the mayor to participate.”
According to the news story, Brainard refused to comment on Basile's claim. The Carmel city council also recently learned that Mayor James Brainard and the city had entered into a settlement agreement with Libman whereby Libman agreed not to sue the city for defamation stemming from allegations Brainard publicly made about Libman's private life in consideration for Brainard, Haney and the city agreeing not to disparage Libman further and to provide a positive recommendation regarding the services he performed on behalf of the nonprofit. Libman resigned his position last July shortly after signing a long-term contract with the Center.

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