Freeman shared with committee members some quick searches he performed on the Internet that confirmed his worst of suspicions. Vision Fleet, a Delaware corporation, listed a registered office address in Venice, California. Freeman learned by searching Google Earth that its office address at 1600 Main Street was nothing more than a virtual office. The company registered to do business in Indiana, Vision Fleet, LLC, was not even registered with the Indiana Secretary of State until a month after the City of Indianapolis' Department of Public Works under former Director Lori Miser entered into the costly-long term contract with the company. It gets more interesting. The registered agent for the company in Indiana is Cleantech Systems Solutions, Inc. a for-profit company whose business address is 111 Monument Circle, Suite #1800, Indianapolis. That of course is the same address used by the Indy Partnership, a nonprofit economic development company funded by the City of Indianapolis.
Hold on. It gets even more interesting. Who would you guess are the three incorporators of Cleantech Systems Solutions, Inc.? How about Hulman & Co.'s president Mark Miles. The name David L. Johnson also appears as an incorporator. He's the former Faegre Baker Daniels partner who is now the president of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, another government-funded, non-profit economic development agency which shares offices at the same address. And finally, there's Paul Mitchell, former Gov. Mitch Daniels' policy director for economic development, workforce and energy who now serves as president of Energy Systems Network, a non-profit affiliate of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. Johnson and Daniels are among ESN's board members, which is a who's who of corporate insiders.
The council's CFO put the committee on notice that the interpretation of state procurement law by staff informs him that the no-bid contract was illegally entered into by the Ballard administration. Incredibly, the fork-tongued Corporation Counsel, Andrew Seiwert, argued with a straight face that it wasn't a lease of vehicles; rather, it was a service contract to perform fleet management services for the city as a justification for there not being a public bidding process. He defended the heavily- redacted contract released to the council, which clearly references leased vehicles, arguing that all of the redactions represented trade secrets. Hah! Where have we heard that lie before? Our state's Public Access Counselor claimed it was all kosher. At $75,000 per car, I wouldn't want the world to know just how shady my contract was either. Hopefully, other local governments around the country aren't as corrupt and unconcerned about costs as Indianapolis' city government.
Suffice it to say the committee members weren't at all satisfied with the smoke the Ballard administration folks were blowing their way at tonight's meeting. It voted to subpoena an unredacted version of the contract. Only the council's counsel, Fred Biesecker, has been allowed to view the full contract to date. He was only allowed to view it after signing a confidentiality, non-disclosure agreement. I don't know what it takes before our useless federal prosecutor in this town starts hauling these corrupt bastards before a grand jury and handing down indictments of these corrupt political insiders who are robbing us blind with these shady deals.
Didn't Ballard have to leave Bayer because he got caught trying to steer a trucking contract to a minority-women owned business registered in his wife's name?
ARE YOU F*****G KIDDING ME?!? How are the scum bags behind this not in jail? There's not enough scotch in my liquor cabinet to tonight make me feel good about the hell hole town I call home.
Hats off to Mr. Freeman for having the stones to stand up to this. And hats off to you too, Mr. Welsh, for once again reporting the real news no mainstream media in this town will report!!
I heard about the following today. Sounds pretty familiar, except in Virginia Beach the corruption is actually being investigated. Perhaps we should bring the FBI into the Blue Indy case?
There are only so many taxpayers in Marion County, many of them poor, most of them middle-class, and they have needs. Police protection. Good roads. Sensible development plans for the city. Similarly, there are only so many tax paying parcels of property in the city, so many are exempt these days. So my eighty year old mother ends up paying more property tax than the Community Hospitals, which like thousands of other parcels, pays nothing. To have our hard earned tax dollars squandered by our elected representatives is infuriating. Also, these TIF districts are a huge problem. Living on the southeast side, I see our property tax dollars siphoned into downtown through the back door, because downtown is the receiver of all our monies, filtered through the mayor’s office, the city county council, about a dozen large law firms, and about a dozen big construction contractors. The only constituents that seems to matter are those that control Lilly, the Simon family, the sports monopoly people, the capital improvements people and the developers. They all seem to get what they want. And lately they seem to be getting larger and larger amounts of our money. I wasn’t happy with the way the justice center was handled. And I don’t like redacted contracts, secrecy in bids, hidden ownership, and weird claims of privacy and business security as grounds to keep facts from the public. This is all just the regional operations center on steroids, happening over and over again. I don’t know what we need to do to clean it up. I have nothing against big business. It just shouldn’t be done with my scarce tax dollars, and siphoned to other parts of town by shady dealers, and by shady dealers I mean Indianapolis movers and shakers. I want my roads fixed. And our water/sewer bills are disgustingly high. Landlords will tell you that 4-plexes in Marion County that used to pay $90 a month water bills are now paying $575 combined water/sewer bills. Thank you Carey Lykins, for all your shenanigans. I join the call for more transparency and for federal prosecutors to more carefully scrutinize the way our tax dollars are being misappropriated from their traditional use.
So are the phone lines burning up this morning to Kyle Walker's grease-stained phone demanding Aaron Freeman's ouster from the Republican caucus?
What's Mark Miles and Mitch Daniels cut of the $100 giveaway to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway? Your man Mitch hopped on the Hulman board with Miles just in time to reap that financial windfall courtesy of the state's taxpayers. What about Miles ties to City Securities and their shenanigans in the public bond market? The SEC caught them engaged in criminal activities and the federal prosecutor does nothing.
The federal prosecutor is worthless and only goes after political opponents of the local elite or easy strict-liability cases like felon-in-possession firearms cases.
In Indianapolis, we have no federal protection from local corruption. Thanks, Obama. Is the idea to turn Indy into a junior Chicago, but with a much dumber and much more obedient local population who is far too stupid to understand the scams and graft that big-city residents would spot, right away?
That was a $100 million taxpayer giveaway to the IMS. Good question on City Securities. The SEC complaint made out a strong criminal case against City Securities. Just another massive public corruption scandal Joe Hogsett swept under the rug while he was acting as our U.S. Attorney in exchange for the Mayor's Office being handed to him on a silver platter.
This deal stinks to high heaven of the same corruption that is the Regional Operations Center. No-bid contract, redactions of addresses on the claim "trade secret", signing a contract with someone whose "corporate office" is a virtual office???
This stinks to high heaven of corruption and waste. Electric cars further have a shorter life span than a regular car, because it is not woth the cost to replace the batteries every 7 years.
Where is DOJ's Public Integrity Task Force on this one?
Excellent reporting, Gary. EXCELLENT. The level of corruption in this City (and in this State) has no limits, does it? No wonder a political firestorm is released with this news. I call on Greg Ballard to resign immediately. Now I understand why they moved Ryan Vaughn out of the mayor's office and thus out of harm's way to preserve the ability to place him as a future political chess pawn.
I can't tell you how many times I've been in the GOP audience when "rent a politico" Mark Miles has spoken. I thought I was the only one whose bullshit detector was blaring full tilt off the dial.
Why Mark Miles should not be in the same federal jail cell block as should Greg Ballard, David Brooks, Tom John. and Bob Grand is something I do not understand.
So, the contract pays $74,000 per car on a no-bid contract!!!!
I bet they could call a major car manufacturer and get 2 Police Package SUV's for each electric car. -And those would have residual value when retired, unlike electric cars.
Wasting tax money!
My dad made the mistake of buying an expensive GE electric riding mower when I was a kid. We were ready to junk it after a few months. You couldn't mow the lawn without the battery needing recharged midway through the job. We parked it and used the reliable Yazoo mower.
wow the indystar just now posts an article 2 days later! this electric car deal is the biggest scam. Yet the mayor can't afford to upgrade old police vehicles but he pulls money from our parking meters to pay for his Blueindy WTF!
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