Friday, March 01, 2013

Brainard Cuts Ties To Evan Lurie Following Prostitution Arrest

A day after local news media reported on the prostitution arrest of Carmel's highly-acclaimed arts consultant, Evan Lurie, Mayor James Brainard says the city is cutting all ties to him. The 47-year old Lurie was arrested on February 22 for charges of patronizing a prostitute and possession of drug paraphernalia after being ensnared in an ongoing undercover vice investigation conducted by IMPD. Lurie is accused of offering an undercover female officer $100 for sex and possession of drug paraphernalia at an Indianapolis motel where he met her after meeting her online.

Lurie is a former B-movie actor who owns art galleries in Carmel, West Hollywood and Boca Raton. Lurie has acted as a paid consultant to the City of Carmel in the capacity as Director of the city's arts district project. According to Current in Carmel, Lurie was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the city over the past decade in his role as an arts consultant. Most recently, he had been under contract with the Carmel Redevelopment Commission. The CRC was in discussions with him to renew a $60,000 a year consulting contract with Lurie when news of his arrest came according to the Indianapolis Star.

Lurie offered a public apology for his transgressions. “I am sorry to my wife and my kids and other people for this situation at hand,” he said. “I hope people will still see good in me.” Lurie's apology didn't cut it for Brainard. “Even though he has done good work for the city in the past, given the nature of the allegations, Mr. Lurie will not be allowed to represent the city or the Arts District,” Brainard said in a statement. “And his contract will not be renewed.”

The CRC invested nearly $3 million of public dollars into Lurie's art gallery and rented space in the building from him at the rate of $84,000 a year according to Current In Carmel. Lurie invested half of the amount the CRC put into his building--$1.5 million. Lurie also previously worked as the Director of Marketing & Entertainment for the Pedcor City Center Development Company, which was first established in 2003 and owned by Bruce Cordingley and Gerald Pedigo, two big political backers of Mayor Brainard. Carmel taxpayers have heavily subsidized Pedcor's City Center real estate projects. Lurie parted company with Pedcor several years ago for undisclosed reasons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Um, the City of Carmel is now paying Lurie $22.40 per square foot to house Carmel's utilities offices in the Lurie Building.

So, no, Mayor Brainard has not cut ties with Lurie, he just found another way to pay him.