Monday, June 08, 2015

Council Votes To Sue Ballard Administration To Void Vision Fleet Contract

UPDATED: On a bipartisan vote, the Indianapolis City-County Council voted 23-6 tonight for a proposal authorizing the council's attorney to file a lawsuit against the Ballard administration seeking to declare the 7-year, $32 million no-bid contract with Vision Fleet to lease more than 400 electrical and hybrid cars void. The council's attorney, Fred Biesecker, determined that the administration had broken no fewer than five state and local laws in executing the contract, including the circumvention of public bidding requirements required for purchasing the cars.

The administration initially entered into a no-bid lease agreement with Vision Fleet but later entered into a second agreement masked as a services agreement with the company after it realized the original lease agreement could not be characterized as a services agreement exempt from public bidding laws. City officials backdated contract documents to make it appear the second contract had been entered into months earlier than it actually had been entered. In so doing, it failed to revoke the original contract. The Marion Co. Auditor's Office also learned that the administration had illegally tapped storm water funds to pay for some of the costs associated with the contract.

Mayor Greg Ballard remained defiant following last night's council vote, insisting his administration broke no laws in entering into yet another one-sided contract intended to benefit political cronies at the expense of the taxpaying public:
“The Council voted to fully fund Freedom Fleet in 2014. And in 2015b – after the program has operated successfully for a year – a group of councillors who have refused to talk through concerns about the program are instead working to dismantle it through costly litigation. This evening’s vote to sue the administration in an attempt to halt Freedom Fleet is irresponsible and misguided. When one branch of government sues another, taxpayers are harmed. We believe we have a legal contract and intend to continue fleet operations without interruption.”
Given that attorneys and other senior members of his administration disagree with that statement, it will be interesting to see who exits his administration in an effort to keep their reputations intact.

The six council members who voted against bringing a lawsuit to void the contract, including Ginny Cain (R), Jose Evans (R), Will Gooden (R), Mike McQuillen (R), Marilyn Pfisterer (R) and Jefferson Shreve (R).

UPDATE: It looks like Vision Fleet has beaten the council to court. Fox 59 News is reporting the company filed an action in Marion Superior Court late yesterday asking a five-judge panel to review its contract with the City of Indianapolis.


Anonymous said...

When is someone resigning and charges being filed? This is unreal...

Got to be some behind scenes rumors of whats to come from this,,,

Anonymous said...

Greg Ballard has almost single-handedly destroyed many Republican Marion County candidates' chances in the November elections. I say almost because tool Kyle Walker with his unwavering support of corruption is part of this criminal enterprise.

Where can I find the names of the six City County Councilors who by their vote admit publically they are on the side of corruption endemic to Greg Ballard? I do wish you had printed that information so we could all know instantly what those six persons are made of.

This lawsuit is a step in the right direction, but only a step. Greg Ballard, Mark Miles, and the rest of these Vision Fleet crooks must be hauled before a judge. Now that lying Joe Hogsett can no longer harm the Indianapolis public safety with his refusal to prosecute corruption in this City when he was southern district attorney, it's time to bring all the corrupt attorneys who abet Greg Ballard to justice as well.

Anonymous said...

State Law is clear: "IC 36-4-8-12: A City department, officer, or employee may not obligate the city to any extent beyond the amount of money appropriated for that department, officer, or employee. An obligation made in violation of this section is void."

IC 36-4-8-13 Spells it out as CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR!

"A city official who recklessly:
(1) issues a bond, certificate, or warrant for the payment of money in excess of an appropriation; or
(2) enters into an obligation prohibited by section 12 of this chapter;
commits a Class B misdemeanor and is liable on his official bond to any person injured by his actions.

Greg Ballard is liable to The People of Indianapolis for each of those $74,000 cars bought from the corporation that (click link)Mark Miles helped create!

This stinks to high heaven of Quid-Pro-Quo, and Corruption.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Federal Prosecutor? Isn't this an easy case for prosecution of the Honest Services Act - 18 USC 1346?

Bastards should be tar and feathered!

Anonymous said...

Mark Miles and Indianapolis Motor Speedway perhaps both also liable?

Pay TAXPAYERS back!!!

Anonymous said...

Finally, some action by somebody to stop the madness that is the Ballard administration. I agree -- when is somebody resigning over this matter ( and I would include both staff and the Mayor) and when is someone going to be prosecuted for the egregious violations of statutes, policies and just plain common sense.....and a special thanks to Gary for keeping this matter before the public.....and just who are those idiots who voted against this matter, anyhow.....This really is a new low in Marion County government and Marion County Republican, how far have the mighty fallen.

Anonymous said...

When asked about the lawsuit, Greg Ballard gritted his teeth, his face turned red, and he replied, "Shut up! You're mean!"

Anonymous said...

The statement issued by Greg Ballard's office following the CC Council vote is indeed defiant and so steadfast in maintaining another of Ballard Big Lies that I am sure Ballard has some deep psychological personality flaws. In the face of documented proof coming from his own administration that Greg Ballard, Mark Miles, and the other cronies are more properly seated in federal prisons than in public or appointed offices, Ballard would have us believe in Richard Nixon fashion, "I am not a crook!" The proof begs to differ. Are County "R's" finally being hit with the realization of the deep damage caused to them by the dishonest Ballard?

I have news for Greg: You will slowly twist in the wind alone. David Brooks and Bob Grand and Tom John and the dim Kyle Walker will do to you what they did to Dennis Fishburn- they will walk away from you. The difference with DF is that he was an honest man who did not understand until the very end how David Brooks used him as a pawn in DB's rage-filled drive to halt the advance of Bart McAtee. Come to think of it, Brooks would make a wonderful federal cell mate for you.

Anonymous said...

Gary, Please publish how each Councilor voted on this issue.

Anonymous said...

If Ballard performed a criminal act in the contract or taking money from the sewer fund, or otherwise broke law and/or ordinance, he may be looking at a more serious matter:

IC 35-44.1ARTICLE 44.1. OFFENSES AGAINST GENERALPUBLIC ADMINISTRATIONIC 35-44.1-1-1 1 Official misconduct Sec. 1. A public servant who knowingly or intentionally:(1) commits an offense in the performance of the public servant's official duties;(2) solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from an appointee or employee any property other than what the public servant is authorized by law to accept as a condition of continued employment;(3) acquires or divests himself or herself of a pecuniary interestin any property, transaction, or enterprise or aids another personto do so based on information obtained by virtue of the public servant's office that official action that has not been made public is contemplated; or (4) fails to deliver public records and property in the public servant's custody to the public servant's successor in office when that successor qualifies; commits official misconduct, a Level 6 felony.