Government

Legislature turns to attorney to lead new ethics office

May 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A longtime legislative attorney has been tapped to lead the state’s new Office of Legislative Ethics.
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Where the clients ‘are no stoned-out hippies’

May 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Small firms, like  Brian Vicente’s in Denver, have been advising clients on marijuana law issues for several years. Now even some bigger corporate firms are tiptoeing into the business.
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Lawsuit says Mourdock gave chief deputy 3-year contract

May 28, 2015
 Associated Press
A lawsuit by former Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock's chief deputy challenging his firing claims the official gave him a three-year, $300,000 contract before he resigned from office last year.
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Obama loses second bid to implement overhaul of immigration

May 27, 2015
 Bloomberg News
President Barack Obama’s bid to make overhauling immigration policy a second-term victory was dealt a serious blow as federal judges ruled the effort must remain on hold while 26 states sue to overturn it.
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Environmental groups sue over Illiana Tollway approval

May 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Illinois environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over the proposed Illiana Tollway. They claim federal approval relied on faulty information and didn't adequately consider environmental impacts.
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Indiana securities commissioner abruptly resigns

May 27, 2015
IBJ Staff
Carol Mihalik resigned as Indiana’s securities commissioner, the state announced.
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KBR, Halliburton win at US Supreme Court on suit deadlines

May 26, 2015
 Bloomberg News
The Supreme Court of the United States tightened the time limits for whistle-blower lawsuits that accuse contractors of overbilling the federal government during overseas conflicts. The ruling is a victory for KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co.
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SCOTUS to consider appeal over electoral districts

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Tuesday to hear an important case about whether states must count only those who are eligible to vote, rather than the total population, when drawing electoral districts for their legislatures.
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Gay marriage challenges cost Indiana $1.4M in attorney fees

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The state of Indiana had to pay more than $1.4 million in fees to plaintiffs' attorneys in its unsuccessful attempt to maintain a ban on same-sex marriages, the attorney general's office says.
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Study: Local lockups can be more pricey to run than thought

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
It turns out running a jail can be even more expensive than previously thought. A study released Thursday examining what it actually costs to operate local lockups has found that a whole host of costs aren't always covered as line items in a corrections department's budget.
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ESPN to appeal Indiana judge's ruling on Notre Dame police

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
ESPN will appeal a northern Indiana judge's ruling that the University of Notre Dame police department is not subject to the state's open records law.
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Fuel company settles claims over air emissions in 3 states

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Marathon Petroleum Corp. will pay a fine of nearly $3 million and spend another $2.8 million on pollution controls at its distribution terminals in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
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Lawmakers eye changes at troubled Bureau of Motor Vehicles

May 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers say they're looking for more changes at the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles after an independent audit found numerous troubles and that the agency might have overcharged motorists more than the $60 million previously disclosed.
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AG’s office creates victim services division

May 14, 2015
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has created the Victim Services and Outreach Division to focus resources on victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other vulnerable victims, the office announced Thursday.
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Senate under pressure after House votes to end NSA program

May 14, 2015
 Associated Press
After the House of Representatives' lopsided bipartisan vote to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records, the Senate is under considerable pressure to pass a similar measure. If it doesn't, lawmakers risk letting the authority to collect the records expire June 1, along with other important counterterrorism provisions.
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Tribe chairman says new Indiana law violates US law

May 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The chairman for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians who are seeking to build a casino in South Bend said Wednesday a new law approved by the General Assembly prevents Gov. Mike Pence from negotiating in good faith with the tribe on a compact, voiding the need for such an agreement.
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House votes to block EPA regulation of streams, wetlands

May 13, 2015
 Associated Press
House Republicans on Tuesday voted to block government rules that would clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from pollution and development under the Clean Water Act.
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Indiana senator calls for judicial nominating commission

May 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sen. Dan Coats is calling for the appointment of a commission to assist in finding and nominating candidates for the vacancies on the federal bench.  
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Farmers worry over reach of EPA water rules

May 12, 2015
 Associated Press
Government rules to clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from development and pollution are fueling political anger in the country's heartland.
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Audit: Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles used ambiguous fees

May 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles lacks oversight, uses a complex fee schedule that leads to inconsistent charges for the same transactions and may have overcharged motorists more than previously disclosed, according to an independent audit released Monday.
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SEC hits ITT Educational, execs with fraud charges

May 12, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing ITT Educational Services Inc. and its top two executives for fraud, the agency announced Tuesday.
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Gov. Mike Pence passes law to address vacant housing

May 11, 2015
 Associated Press
City officials in Indianapolis are applauding a law that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed last week that won't let municipalities hold banks responsible for upkeep on vacant homes.
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Sheriff: Federal oversight could end soon at Indiana jail

May 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A sheriff in northwest Indiana says a county jail could be released from oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice later this year.
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2nd Circuit: NSA phone record collection is excessive

May 7, 2015
 Associated Press
The bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the government exceeds what Congress has allowed, a federal appeals court said Thursday as it asked Congress to step in and decide how best to protect national security and privacy interests.
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Pence signs bill repealing Indiana construction wage law

May 7, 2015
 Associated Press
Local boards will no longer set minimum wages for public construction projects in Indiana under a law signed Wednesday by Gov. Mike Pence.
More
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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