Friday, October 03, 2014

Council President Accepts New Job At Indiana Grand Casino

Advance Indiana has learned that Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie Lewis (D) has accepted a new job as human relations director for Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville. Indiana Grand is one of two horse racing tracks/casinos operated by Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming, which also owns and operates Anderson's Hoosier Park horse racing track and casino.

Lewis has been working as the executive director of the Dove Recovery House in Indianapolis for the last several years, which has posed a conflict of interest insofar as it relies on city grants for part of its funding.

Centaur Gaming operates an off-track betting parlor in downtown Indianapolis, Winner's Circle. The company's main issue of concern before the City-County Council has been the city's smoking ban ordinance, which has provided a special exemption for its facility. A lawsuit brought by several area tavern owners challenging the constitutionality of that ordinance was dismissed earlier this year by the Marion County Superior Court.

UPDATE: An observant reader tells me that Centaur Gaming also recently hired Frank Thompson, husband of State Sen. Jean Leising (R), for a marketing job at Indiana Grand. Looks like Centaur's CEO, Rod Radcliff, is up to his old tricks. God only knows how many other of our other public officials are on Centaur's payroll in one form or another. Radcliff's influence peddling with state lawmakers was in the spotlight back in 2005 when it was discovered that State Rep. David Frizzell (R) and State Sen. Jeff Drozda (R) were hired by the company around the time it was lobbying to legalize slot machines at horse racing tracks. Then-Senate President Robert Garton declared the legislative efforts dead that legislative session because of the lawmakers' hiring. Frizzell later resigned his job, while Drozda later left the Senate to become a full-time lobbyist like he was before he became a lawmaker. He now lives in Louisiana.


frustrated public servant said...

Does she stay on the CCC?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Yes. Her work on the council is only part-time work.

Anonymous said...

It's time for Maggie to resign her position!

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't see her doing that.

Anonymous said...

Darn, I didn't know they were hiring for that position. I would have liked to apply for it.

Here's their open and recently open positions:

Didn't see HR Director on there.

IndyDem said...

Anonymous, your facts are off. First of all, Maggie did work for Dove, and they did get public money but she was never on the panel that made that call. 2nd of all, if you really want to see what a conflict of interest looks like, and you probably said nothing when this was going on, but take a look at the former council president who passed out of council the Parking Meter deal by a single vote, while he was a registered lobbyist for the company who got the contract. Just wanted to make sure you know what a real conflict looks like.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You're clueless as usual, Indy Dem. This blog was virtually the only media source that made an issue of Vaughn's conflict of interest in sheparding the parking meter privatization deal through the council.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I am a liberal Democrat. I don't necessarily agree with everything you publish on this site, but I do appreciate that you take the time to inform citizens of the shenanigans as well as the seedy underworld of Indiana politics. Again, this is just another sad news story that we residents just won't find in the local mainstream news media.

I've never been impressed with Maggie Lewis. I think she is way out of her league. I'm also dissapointed that another public official has - once again - been bought by big gaming.

Anonymous said...

What education, training or skills does Lewis have to be a HR director?? How can she be council president while working such a distance out of the city?? This move shows she is much more like her buddy "mayor" Ryan Vaughn and that she is using elected office for personal gain and not public service. Very bad move and shows her true colors.