Corruption heads southeast

May 29, 2009
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Is Delaware County becoming the new Lake County in terms of political scandals and corruption? There’s a belief (which is sometimes substantiated) that Lake County doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to politics: voting scandals, unethical mayors and elected officials, things of that nature.

Now it appears to be Delaware County’s turn to rival Lake County for corruption issues based on incidents within the last couple of years.

The county had a judge resign from the bench shortly after the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission initiated an investigation of his business interests and judicial obligations. His resignation suspended the investigation. (In an ironic twist, the judge took over the bench in 1998 for another corrupt judge who had resigned after being charged with all sorts of corrupt behavior by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, including a sexual relationship with a client in lieu of monetary payments and that he forged her divorce decree before becoming judge, and that he continued working in private practice after serving as a full-time pro tempore judge.)

Then there’s the hoopla surrounding a lawyer who is a defense attorney and former prosecutor. He faced a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery of a witness in a criminal case. (The lawyer was found not guilty in March.)

The current county prosecutor faces disciplinary charges that he violated four professional conduct rules stemming from his role as a private attorney on civil forfeiture matters related to the criminal defendants he handled as deputy prosecutor on behalf the state. (A special prosecutor recently cleared him of criminal wrongdoing in his handling of the drug forfeiture cases).

There’s been an ongoing battle for Mayor of Muncie – which involves 19 absentee ballots deemed invalid – which the Court of Appeals just ruled on Thursday. (Affirming Sharon McShurley is the mayor.)

And yesterday, a Delaware County grand jury indicted a Muncie City Council member and firefighter on nine Class D felony counts of illegally receiving a ballot.

It used to be that Lake County was named whenever the topic of voter fraud came up, but perhaps people need to start citing Delaware County.

I know corruption can and probably does happen in every county in Indiana, but you have to figure there’s a reason why certain counties gain the reputations they do. Hopefully these are isolated incidents and not a reflection of the state of politics or the legal system in Delaware County.
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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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