It doesn't seem to matter that the Ballard administration flagrantly ignored Indiana law and rigged the outcome of the bidding process for a Marion County Criminal Justice Center that ensured the WMB Heartland Justice Partners, LLC bid would wind up the winning bid and for just playing along with the charade the two losing bidders are being paid $750,000 each at taxpayers' expense. The Democratic-controlled council tells the IBJ it plans to create a five-member review panel to make a recommendation on whether to approve the 35-year, $1.75 billion deal, which will be controlled by the two members appointed by Mayor Ballard and one member appointed by Sheriff John Layton, both of whom conspired to foist this corrupt deal on the public in the first instance.
Once that rigged board votes to approve the deal, it goes before the full council for approval, which is expected to happen by the end of March despite the administration continuing to withhold key documents related to the bidding process and the approved agreement. The high-paid lobbyists will have no trouble getting a majority of the council to vote on it. Thirteen Republican council members committed to voting in favor of it before seeing the key documents for the costly public works project, which will impact the city-county budget for at least an entire generation of taxpayers. The lobbyists will have no problem buying off a handful of Democratic members to vote for it to ensure final approval of one of the most corrupt deals engineered by the downtown mafia in recent history. They still haven't figured out how the city-county taxpayers got taken to the cleaners on that one-sided, costly lease for the Regional Operations Center, but it's not their money that's being wasted so why should they care.
This blog's research has proven that this bid was rigged from the outset. There was no appropriation for this project ever approved by the City-County Council. Yet taxpayers will be out $15 million for the procurement process even if a miracle occurred and it got stopped dead in its tracks. I have been contacted by a prominent, well-respected member of the California judiciary who has spent a considerable amount of time researching the Long Beach Courthouse bidding process, and he has concluded the bidding process on that courthouse project was rigged as well. That judge wants California officials to open up an investigation there. Not surprisingly, the same team which led that P3 project is leading this project as well. Team members involved in this winning bid have a sordid history of involvement in bid rigging on public works projects, inflating construction costs on publicly-finance projects and engaging in discriminatory employment practices.
The Indianapolis news media has conspired with the corrupt Ballard administration to ram approval of this costly and risky undertaking through a process woefully lacking in any serious oversight, transparency or analysis. They are hiding the truth from you, and you will wind up footing the bill for it. They all knew when the City-County Council approved an income tax increase last year it was not intended for the purpose of hiring additional police officers as they represented to you; it was meant as a funding source for the massive annual payments that will have to be made to the private operator of a new criminal justice center. They lied about the purpose of the 2007 public safety tax increase, and they lied about last year's public safety tax increase. If we lived anywhere else in America, federal prosecutors would have raided the mayor's office and hauled him and the rest of his political cronies behind this project away in handcuffs. This is Indianapolis, though, where our public officials appear to have immunity from prosecution for honest services fraud and theft of public assets, and where the news media can't find enough ways to kiss the butts of the corrupt politicians.
Plain as day we see that the Democrats are every bit as corrupt as Greg Ballard and those who own him.
I don't want to hear former "At Large" liberal Democrat Zach Adamson or any other crony career Democrat complain that soon there will be no City assets left to manage because of the Marion County GOP Republican Councilors (Scales excepted).
The Democrats are doing a fine job enabling the corruption.
I am really disappointed in the IBJ. I count on them to do the heavy lifting on these deals the reporters at the Star won't do. It's not happening this time. Why?
It's appalling that the mayors office continues to withhold critical information from the public and council members. Even more appalling that media can't find a basic sense of civic duty to ask the real questions many of us are asking.
If this project will cost taxpayers 50,000,000 a year and there are roughly 800,000 residents in Marion County, that amounts to just over 60$ per year every year for every man, woman and child, just to pay for this project. That amounts to about 2,200$ In 35 years. That's a lot of money, especially when so many in this city are barely making ends meet. Is that not worth asking the tough questions, Matt Tully et al?
The cronies and kool aid drinkers out there are shifting the conversation towards economic development east of downtown. So we're going to move the eyesore facilities and questionable characters to another part of downtown to fix the problem?
Why is downtown economic development always the sole focus of elected officials? The rest of the city rots around its polished-gold core.
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