Saturday, April 12, 2014

Indiana State Police Investigation Of ROC Appears To Be A Total Whitewash

WRTV's Jack Rinehart reports tonight that Indiana State Police investigators are about to wrap up an investigation of the ROC lease that was originally requested by Marion Co. Prosecutor Terry Curry in January. Earlier this week, WISH-TV reported that neither the building's owner, Alex Carroll, nor his attorney had been contacted by investigators. Former Public Safety Director Frank Straub, who engineered the execution of the one-sided ROC lease agreement with Carroll for his Eastgate Mall property, told Rinehart that investigators had not spoken to him either. How can you investigate the execution of a controversial lease investigation if you don't bother to speak to the principal parties to the agreement?

DPS' Deputy Director Valerie Washington told Rinehart that nobody broke any criminal laws. "I think it was a tricky business deal," Washington said. "I don't think there were any criminal elements in any way, shape or form, tied to this lease." She claimed that ISP investigators were reaching out to all the principal parties involved in the lease, which couldn't have included her as clueless as she appeared to be during her testimony to the committee about her knowledge of the lease.

Washington's comments echo the comments made by Councilor Ben Hunter, who pushed approval of the lease through the council and received large campaign contributions from Carroll. Hunter made public the existence of the ISP investigation for the first time at the ROC Investigating Committee meeting this past week, which seemed to come as a complete surprise to the committee's chairman, Councilor Joe Simpson. Hunter challenged the need for the ROC Investigating Committee to continue investigating the lease because of the ISP investigation despite the ongoing refusal of the Ballard administration to turn over key documents regarding the lease, forcing the committee to seek a court order to enforce a subpoena it issued to the administration after five months of stonewalling. Hunter told other council members that he was confident the ISP would conclude that nobody broke any criminal laws.

Curry made a terrible error in judgment by turning over the investigation to ISP if he was truly interested in getting to the bottom of this sordid deal. I've yet to see the ROC Investigating Committee call the project manager as a witness before the committee. Didn't he advise Straub early on that there were too many issues that arose with the building after the lease was signed and the project was commenced, and that the City needed to cut its losses by finding a way out of the lease? And didn't Straub reply to his advice the same way he responded to former emergency services director Jim White, who advised Straub not to choose the Eastgate Mall property, by firing the ROC's project manager? Are there damning e-mail communications between Straub and the former ROC project manager that the Ballard administration is withholding from the ROC Investigating Committee?


Anonymous said...

The writer of this blog needs to look into the relationship between the ISP superintendent and Ballard..They are BFFs.It will explain a great deal as to why this case will just fade away. No one in this city is strong enough to see this case though to the end, especially not Curry.Consider this case closed.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Of course, Ben Hunter knew the fix was in when he gloated about the ISP investigation this past week. They'll hold up the non-investigation results and say, "See, I told you there was nothing corrupt about this deal." Indianapolis is the easiest city in America for corrupt pols and their cronies to steal massive sums of public funds. It's always a case of the fox guarding the henhouse.

Flogger said...

Eugene Debs had this to say - "The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests — they have the same principles under varying colors, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital and their hostility to labor."

Just to update Debs we have one Party - The Republicrats of dedicated Crony Capitalists. The hostility Debs speaks of can be expanded to the Tax-Payers - the 99%.

If I recall right Federal Money was involved with the ROC. The Department of Homeland Security was to be housed there. So you would think Curry might have asked the Feds to look into this also. This might have meant involving Hogsett.

How Butler had knowledge of the ISP Investigation and the committee's chairman, Councilor Joe Simpson did not is a bit of mystery.

I cannot recall Curry making any public announcement of asking the ISP to get investigate the ROC. You would think Curry would have given Simpson a "heads up" at the very least.

How can the ISP develop an investigation if critical information is missing, i.e., the documents Simpson's Committee has requested?

Charles. M. Navarra said...

This entire ROC incident- on BOTH the "R" side and the
complicit "D" side- is far beyond the pale, The "nothing to see here, move along" pronouncements are not surprising. IMHO, this is an overt and obvious cover-up. I wonder if Marion County voters will ever wake up to realize the need to fully toss out the current syndicates on both sides of the aisle that unceasingly fleece the taxpayer through insider deals and crony pay-to-play relationships.

Anonymous said...

A nod and a wink from your buddy, and everything just turns out fine...

Let DOJ Public Integrity section investigate this one!

Anonymous said...

You guys are getting close, but no bananas.
Ya'all need to look at the,
Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grants, Federal Homeland Security Grants.
Who, what, when, how, and why!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Anon. 5:50, That's why the feds and not state or local law enforcement should be handling this investigation. If federal funds were illegally comingled for use on this project, that's something the feds will have an interest in learning.