Thursday, April 24, 2014

Council Committee Approves Re-Appointment Of Attorney To Public Defender Board Who Facilitated Payment Of Bribe To Prosecutor By Client

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It's just another example of how corrupt and warped the City of Indianapolis' government has become. Last night, the Public Safety Committee of the Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved the re-appointment of Jennifer Lukemeyer, the attorney who helped procure the payment of a bribe to former Chief Deputy Prosecutor David Wyser so her client, a convicted murderer, could be sprung from prison after serving only a fraction of her 75-year sentence, to the Marion County Public Defender Board. Councilor Aaron Freeman, who until recently worked as an attorney at the same law firm where Lukemeyer is a partner, moved her re-appointment and cast a vote in favor of it. Not a single member of the committee questioned Lukemeyer about her role in bribing Wyser. In case you've forgotten, here are some the sordid details from a previous blog post about Lukemeyer's unsavory role in the bribing of David Wyser:
 . . . After Epperly told the first attorney about the campaign contributions and the fact that he had met in person with the prosecutor to discuss his daughter's case, the first attorney referred Epperly to Lukemeyer because of her closer working relationship with Brizzi and Wyser. In 2007, Lukemeyer met at a downtown restaurant with Wyser to discuss the sentence modification and mentioned to him the fact that her client's father had made the large campaign contributions to Brizzi and had spoken to him. Wyser told Lukemeyer that he would need time to think about the matter.
Reflecting the casual relationship Lukemeyer had with Wyser, she sent a follow-up e-mail to him after her meeting on March 14, 2007 in which she stated: "Hey, let's talk soon about Paula Willoughby and how to, or if we even can, resolve that issue. I am just jealous that my partners are taking all of your time, and I want some attention too! Talk to you soon." One of Lukemeyer's partners is high-profile criminal defense lawyer Jim Voyles, who has a close relationship with Joe Hogsett. The following day Wyser replied to Lukeymeyer's e-mail to ask her to remind him of the name of her client's father. When she responded that it was her client's father, Wyser asked to confirm that the size of the contribution was "$25K." Lukemeyer responded, "Yes it was. Just a drop in the bucket!"
During follow-up discussions, Wyser had considered seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor to hear Willoughby's request since he believe it had merit and that would eliminate the appearance of impropriety if a sentence modification was later granted. He later told Lukemeyer that the prosecutor's office would move forward with approving the case without seeking a special prosecutor. According to the document, Lukemeyer and Wyser disagreed over whether Wyser indicated to her that he was comfortable with Epperly continuing to be a donor to Brizzi's campaign committee. He says he didn't agree to that; she says he did. After Wyser filed paperwork to run for Hamilton Co. prosecutor in November, 2007, Lukemeyer sent an e-mail to Wyser inquiring about it. In a follow-up e-mail and phone call, Wyser discussed with Lukemeyer how she could help out with his campaign and mentioned that Epperly needed to make a donation to his campaign.
Discussions about Willoughby's sentence modification resumed in January, 2008 when Lukemeyer sent Wyser an e-mail titled, "Free Paula." Wyser replied, "[I]s that something like 'free willy'?" Lukemeyer responded, "Well yes, and didn't you feel all warm and fuzzy after Willy got free? You'll get the same feeling when Paula is free too!" Wyser asked, "What will Paula do to make me feel warm and fuzzy?" He added, "Stay really, really, really quite (sic) about this little modification."
In late January, 2008, Epperly scheduled a meeting with Wyser at the prosecutor's office. Lukemeyer professed ignorance of the request when Wyser later discussed it, telling him that she told Epperly not to speak to him directly. Wyser assured her it was okay and went ahead with the meeting, which lasted for approximately 40 minutes. After the meeting, Lukemeyer sent Wyser an e-mail in which she told him that Epperly told her that he was "the best thing since sliced bread." Lukemeyer claims that she later spoke on the phone with Wyser and he assured her nothing would prevent the sentence modification from going forward, including additional campaign contributions. On the same day that Lukemeyer exchanged text messages with Epperly, he made another campaign contribution in the amount of $500 to Brizzi. In March, 2008, in response to another e-mail Lukemeyer sent to Wyser titled "Free Paula," Wyser solicited a campaign contribution for his campaign. Lukemeyer said she was talking to Epperly at that moment. Wyser wrote, "You should convince him to write a check on behalf of the whales." Lukemeyer responded that he would "whip out that checkbook of his" if he thought it would do any good. Lukemeyer proposes timing the sentence modification to July, 2009 when her client will have served a full term for one of the counts against her. As their conversations continued, Wyser told Lukemeyer that he would talk to Brizzi. Epperly shortly thereafter wrote another $2,500 campaign contribution to Brizzi's campaign.
On May 29, 2009, Wyser called Lukemeyer and communicated to her that Epperly needed to make a contribution to his campaign and asked her to communicate that message to him. Lukemeyer relayed the request and the same day Epperly wrote out a check to Wyser's campaign for $2,500. Wyser's campaign deposited the check on June 22, 2009. On June 23, 2009, the sentence modification for Willoughby was filed in the Marion Superior Court, which provided an early release date of July 2, 2009 for Willoughby. On August 25, 2009, Lukemeyer hosted a fundraiser in her home for Wyser at which she says he asked her to tell Epperly to contribute $5,000 more to his campaign. In January, 2010, media reports first reported the unusual sentence modification granted to Willoughby and the size and timing of the campaign contributions made to Brizzi's and Wyser's campaign committees. In some media reports, Wyser lied about his knowledge of Epperly's previous campaign contributions. Lukemeyer contacted Wyser to warn him about their past e-mails. He assured her that his e-mail account had been purged. Investigators found about 60 e-mails Wyser had deleted from his e-mail account that were later recovered.
And attorneys wonder why the public holds them in such low regard. The Attorney Disciplinary Commission has devoted extraordinary resources prosecuting fellow blogger and attorney Paul Ogden to ensure that he never practices law in the state of Indiana again because he criticized a judge in a private e-mail. Yet that same commission has initiated no complaint against Lukemeyer for her role in the payment of a bribe to the county's chief deputy prosecutor. Is that fair?


local landlord said...

What a sordid, dirty story. Lukemeyer, Wyser and Brizzi. Trash. These lawyers can move right to the top of the list of the type of filthy, dirty lawyers running the criminal justice system in Indianapolis. Pretty revolting morals. I don’t suppose our Supreme Court Disciplinary Committee can identify any reason whatsoever to chastise them, but decent honest men and women in Indianapolis have had enough of this sort of rot.

Anonymous said...

Friggin dirtbags!