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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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