Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Is Carl Brizzi Using Campaign Funds For Personal Use?

Former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi may no longer hold public office or be a candidate for public office in Indiana, but he still maintains a campaign committee that has a large sum of money. His "Brizzi for Prosecutor" committee started off last year with cash on hand of more than $190,000 and ended the year with a little over $153,000 according to a campaign finance report his committee filed this week. The committee raised no money during 2013 but spent more than $37,000. It's those $37,000 in expenditures that have me asking questions:
  • More than $26,000 in attorney's fees;
  • $6,000 to pay Elizabeth Shrout as campaign finance manager for a non-existent campaign;
  • Nearly $3,000 in cell phone expenses paid to Verizon; and
  • $390 paid to Hirons & Company for media research.
Only one expenditure appeared clearly related to campaign purposes-$1,125 contributed to the Indiana State Republican Party. It is my suspicion that the payments for attorney's fees related to the hiring of a criminal defense attorney during the federal grand jury investigation last year of his corrupt relationship with Paul Page and John Bales that bungled its task of learning why people making campaign contributions to his campaign committee received favorable treatment from his office while he was prosecutor and how he landed a 50% ownership interest in an Elkhart building with Paul Page, a criminal defense attorney, that was later leased to the state's Department of Child Services to which Brizzi contributed no capital through a deal brokered by Bales. Brizzi described his acquired interest in the building as being based on a "finder's fee."

Curiously, the expenditure for attorney's fees lists the payee as "Attorney" in hand-written form; the balance of the expenditures are in type-written form and list the specific payees. Use of campaign funds to pay criminal defense expenses does not appear to be an allowable use of campaign funds under Indiana law. Brizzi's 2012 campaign finance report listed nearly $17,000 in legal fees paid to the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister.

During Brizzi's defense of Charlie White, Shrout's services were utilized by Brizzi's law office as a paralegal. Is he paying her $6,000 a year to complete an annual campaign finance report for an inactive campaign committee? It's hard to imagine how a non-existent campaign would have nearly $3,000 in cell phone expenses. Who knows what the media research expense with Hirons is about. According to IRS rules, campaign expenditures used for personal use is treated as taxable income.


Anonymous said...

Follow the money..How do you get this information? So cool...Keep it for your papa..Good stuff...I'm dancing in the snow...

Anonymous said...

htanit transverseJesse Jackson, Jr. got 2 1/2 years in the federal system for using $750K in campaign funds to buy personal items such as a $43K
Rolex watch.

Are any prosecutors in Indy paying

Anonymous said...

Mr Bizzi Is way above the law. Watch nothing will happen!