ILNews

Justices again deny election request

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court has denied for the second time in two months a request to get involved in a Terre Haute mayoral election dispute.

The justices sent notice Tuesday to attorneys that they won't bypass the Court of Appeals on a dispute resulting from the November election, when Republican Duke Bennett ousted incumbent Democrat Mayor Kevin Burke by about 110 votes.

The court had previously decided not to get involved in an issue about whether Vigo Superior Judge David Bolk had jurisdiction in the case of the recount petition's validity because of a missing middle initial. Bennett later won by a few additional votes and was sworn in at the start of the year.

But Burke had also challenged Bennett's candidacy on grounds that he'd violated the Hatch Act, a federal law limiting political activity of non-profits receiving federal money. Bennett had worked during his campaign for Hamilton Center Inc., which operated as an Early Head Start program and received a federal grant.

After the recount, Judge Bolk ruled in December that state law doesn't prevent Bennett from taking office and that any violation of the federal law was unintentional. Rather than go directly to the Indiana Court of Appeals, attorneys asked the state's highest court to intervene. But a docket entry Tuesday shows the justices denied that.

Indianapolis attorney Bryan Babb, who is representing Bennett, said the case now goes before the Court of Appeals and could take as long as two years to get through both appellate courts.

"I think it's fair to say that if they felt that Judge Bolk had got it wrong and that Mayor Bennett does not belong in office, then they would have accelerated this process and heard the case as soon as possible," Babb said.

Ed DeLaney is representing Burke.
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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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