Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hogsett Surprised By Extent Of Public Corruption? Not Hardly

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has been around Indiana politics for a long time now. He knows how things are done, and how those things are just considered a way of doing business, so to speak. Nonetheless, he tells Star political columnist Matt Tully during an interview this morning that he's surprised by the extent of public corruption he has turned up since taking office.
Question: Have you been surprised by the extent of the problem?
Hogsett: Yes.
Question: Why?
Hogsett:  It’s much broader than I could have imagined. I certainly had an inclination that there was real need for prosecution of these cases. ... It’s at all levels of government.
In case you were thinking that Hogsett is shocked by what he's finding, think again. Hogsett's comments elsewhere in the interview are more revealing of what he knew when he agreed to take the job.
What we are really doing is committing resources to public corruption cases that weren’t committed to that area in the past. That’s not a criticism of my predecessors. Every United States Attorney has their priorities. But I put two areas at the forefront: violent crime and public corruption.
Bingo. Virtually all of Hogsett's recent predecessors have engaged in the wholesale cover up of massive public corruption cases handed to them by the FBI, including federal prosecutors appointed by both parties. Evan Bayh's handpicked appointee during the Clinton years, Judith Stewart, swept corruption under the rug concerning the awarding of riverboat gaming licenses under the Bayh-run Gaming Commission. U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, a Republican appointee during the George W. Bush administration, swept the theft of the Lawrence water company by cronies of former Lawrence Mayor Tom Schneider under the rug. A lengthy investigative report by the FBI leaked to the media was simply dumped in the trash cash without a single indictment. Apparently that didn't go unnoticed by at least one federal judge with whom Hogsett spoke during his nominating process.
It was not lost on me that the Southern District of Indiana had not seen a profiled public corruption prosecution in probably 15 to 20 years. I had a conversation during the vetting process leading up to my confirmation with a federal district court judge and we talked about this very issue. That judge observed to me there was only one of two possible explanations for that: One, we have the most honest, ethical, above-the-board public officials in the entire land. Or, two, somebody is asleep at the switch. That’s not a criticism. But clearly as an outside observer there sure seemed to be questions of legitimate public concerns that were being overlooked or not pursued.

1 comment:

all hear this said...

The worst part of reading this coverage is reading "republican" commentators bring up Obama's current scandals as a means of pointing the finger back at their political opponents. They have no ability to see the evil of those who pretend to be conservatives/republicans but are nothing more than manipulative crooks. Hoosiers tend to be too die-hard about their political affiliations which allows for exactly the kind of corruption we've been dealing with for way too long in Marion County. Some of these trolls are too dense to understand that the Ballard administration is a local enemy of republican interests because of how remarkably unprincipled and "un" republican their actions are. The only thing republican about Ballard are his talking points, which are usually nothing more than self-deluded lies. You really have to take each political figure on a case by case basis, and be wise enough to portion out the issues that are most relevant. I really hope that this scandal percolates upward, but already I sense Tool-y and the likes of our news media establishment will be working hand-in-hand to quietly soothe and confuse the public until the next election cycle. Our government is only as corrupt as our media allows it to be.