Thursday, July 31, 2014

Inspector General Concludes Woodruff Should Have Disclosed Land Deals But Broke No Ethics Rules Or Laws

INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff may have failed to disclose his and other close family member's financial interest in land purchased by the state agency for the construction of I-69, participated in costly change orders he demanded in a bridge's design at the request of his uncle and got a job for his mother at the same state agency that already employed him and his wife, but Inspector General David Thomas concluded as he always does in high-profile cases involving political cronies that no laws or ethics rules were violated.

According to an Indianapolis Star report, Thomas' report says that while Woodruff's actions "give rise to the appearance of improprieties" and "diminishes public trust," his actions didn't amount to any criminal or civil violations. Former state lawmaker and law professor David Orentlicher disagrees with Thomas' interpretation of state ethics laws, but it's irrelevant because our useless federal and state prosecutors refuse to do anything to combat the rampant public corruption taking place in state government for the benefit of select political insiders that Thomas has moved mountains and oceans as the state's top ethics officer for the past decade to protect from public prosecution. Woodruff's only punishment, if you can call it that, is that he will be barred from doing work for INDOT for a one-year period as either an employee or contractor.

Thomas' report says that INDOT's ethics officer, Tiffany Mulligan, had advised Woodruff that he needed to disclose his and his family member's interests in the I-69 land deals, but he turned down her advice. Because the Woodruff family's land was acquired through the eminent domain law, Thomas said the conflict of interest rules didn't apply. Orentlicher disagreed, arguing that the transaction still involved a purchase within the meaning of the state's conflict of interest law regardless of whether it occurred through an eminent domain process. Thomas also concluded there was nothing wrong with Woodruff hiring his mother to work for INDOT because she did not report to him. Again, Orentlicher disagrees with Thomas' interpretation of the state's nepotism law. But like I said, it doesn't matter because our useless federal and state prosecutors have already decided they won't second guess Thomas' interpretations of law no matter how warped his conclusions are.


Anonymous said...

This is a new low even for Thomas! Woodruff blatantly violated the law but as usual Thomas bends over backwards to protect Woodruff's worthless butt! Pence needs to man up and show Thomas the door! Hoosiers need to picket the governors office non stop until Thomas is fired!

Pete Boggs said...

Is state sponsored, codified nepotism, the practice of a republic, caliphate or oligarchy?

Anonymous said...

Woodruff gave Mitch DST. Woodruff was due a big payback.

Woodruff always had a big get-out-of-jail-free card he could play.

Now he's played it, and he's gone. Woodruff and the Mitch boys are all even. Woodruff doesn't have a second card, but it's also unlikely he'll need it or be called to do a second favor.

Troy played his part, and he'll now fade into the woodwork, but not before he was able to remind everyone that in Indiana, if you play ball, you'll come out ahead, and you'll be well taken care of and protected.

Eventually, all the Mitch deals will close, and we'll move onto Pence deals.

Anonymous said...

Did you see our buddy Ersal is donating a whole $75,000. I'm sure this "generous" gift is going to be bandied about by the downtown mafia as a reason why taxpayers should in turn give him millions of dollars for a new stadium...

Anonymous said...

It can look like a duck, quack like a duck, but if it doesn't walk like a duck, it gets another chance.