Government

Coats said to lead Trump’s picks for intelligence post

January 5, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats is the front-runner to become Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence, according to two people familiar with the decision, a move that would put him in the position of defending the agencies whose conclusions on Russian hacking have been openly questioned by the president-elect.
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Muncie mayor says FBI searches city government office

January 5, 2017
 Associated Press
The Muncie mayor's office says FBI agents searched the city building commissioner's office.
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Bill would alter plea agreement, sentencing requirements

January 5, 2017
IL Staff
Judges would no longer be required to advise criminal defendants of the earliest and latest possible release dates under legislation introduced in the Indiana Senate. The legislation also would strike language that shields rejected plea agreements and proceedings from the official court record.
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Grassley expects tough fight on Supreme Court nomination

January 5, 2017
 Associated Press
Sen. Charles Grassley says he doesn't think he'll be condemned for moving quickly on a Donald Trump nominee for U.S. Supreme Court after refusing last year to hold hearings on President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland.
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Trump names Wall Street lawyer Clayton as SEC chairman

January 5, 2017
 Associated Press
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday chose a Wall Street attorney with experience in corporate mergers and public stock launches as his nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Hoosier law students, professors oppose Sessions nomination

January 5, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana law school professors are joining an open letter opposing the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.
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Gary councilwoman challenges accusations of law violation

January 4, 2017
 Associated Press
A city councilwoman has filed a lawsuit to keep her second job as an employee of the Gary Sanitary District.
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House Republicans' road plan includes gas-tax increase, user fees

January 4, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo
Indiana House Republicans on Wednesday released their legislative agenda, which includes a tax increase and increased user fees to pay for improving the state’s roads.
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7th Circuit affirms Indiana’s ban on robocalls

January 4, 2017
Dave Stafford
A political organization that argued Indiana’s ban on telephone robocalls disfavored political speech and was content discrimination got a terse reply from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday.
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Owners of flooded house lose appeal in suit against Valparaiso

January 3, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A couple whose home near a water retention and detention facility was flooded in 2008 when the city of Valparaiso experienced a 200-year storm are not able to assert a private cause of action under Indiana’s Flood Control Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday.
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Indiana GOP senator says bill aimed at Islamic law concerns

January 3, 2017
 Associated Press
One of the Indiana legislators proposing to prohibit state judges from referring to foreign laws says he is concerned that Islamic religious law could be cited in civil cases.
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New Jersey makes case to US Supreme Court on sports betting

December 28, 2016
 Associated Press
New Jersey's chances of getting the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its effort to legalize sports gambling hinge on how a bedrock constitutional principle is applied.
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Critics decry Pence team for letting state fair stage collapse rule expire

December 28, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
The Pence administration has let expire the emergency rule put in place after the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse that left seven people dead and dozens injured.
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Indianapolis airport board counsel takes off, leaves tailwind for successor

December 28, 2016
Dave Stafford
Rex M. Joseph Jr.’s nearly 29 years as counsel for the Indianapolis International Airport Authority Board included helping land the airport at an entirely new location after some of the most turbulent times in the nation’s modern history.
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Hogsett pushes ‘bold’ criminal justice reform

December 28, 2016
Dave Stafford
The new jail proposal also emphasizes early intervention, treatment and diversion.
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2016 Year in Review

December 28, 2016
IL Staff
From law school troubles to new court initiatives, take a look back at the top stories in Indiana Lawyer this year.
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Employers, labor lawyers left hanging as judge blocks OT rule

December 28, 2016
Dave Stafford
Companies and the employment lawyers who advise them had, in many cases, worked for months planning to comply with new Department of Labor regulations affecting millions of salaried employees who are exempt from overtime pay. All they know after a judge blocked the rule is that they don’t know what’s next.
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Online registry gives quick access to protection orders

December 28, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In 2010, the registry was enhanced so that victims can be sent a text or email whenever the respondent has been served or the general order is set to expire. Victim notifications sent from the registry total 196,697.
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Indiana’s judicial nominees headed toward disappointment

December 28, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana’s two nominees to the federal judiciary have a chance to get a confirmation vote before Inauguration Day, the possibility is extremely slim. The pair likely will find a place in the history books rather than on the bench.
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Indiana Supreme Court looks to a tech future in budget request

December 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
As the Indiana Legislature prepares to outline the state’s priorities when crafting the next biennial budget during the 2017 session, the Indiana Supreme Court is requesting a $3 million boost to support the future of court technology, one of the judiciary’s highest priorities.
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Feds say 3 hacked law firms' networks, made insider trades

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors have charged three Chinese nationals accused of profiting from insider information about mergers and acquisitions by hacking into the networks of law firms working on the deals, authorities said Tuesday.
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Indiana bill seeks to eliminate requirement for gun permits

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
Gun rights advocates view the upcoming legislative session as their best bet to get rid of an Indiana law that requires a license to carry handguns.
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East Chicago residents face opposition to intervene in court

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
Federal officials say court proceedings aren't the proper place for residents of an East Chicago neighborhood that's contaminated with lead and arsenic to voice their concerns.
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Anti-refugee sentiment from election spills over to states

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
The push to restrict refugee resettlement and immigration in the U.S. that figured so prominently in Donald Trump's election is now headed to states that are preparing to convene their legislative sessions early next year, immigration advocates said.
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GPS ankle bracelet company grows rapidly in Indianapolis

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A GPS ankle bracelet company is likely to grow rapidly in Indiana as authorities increasingly use tracking devices to increase compliance with pretrial release, probation or parole conditions among accused and convicted offenders.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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