Government

Shake-up of study committees meant to streamline process

May 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The internal changes to the Indiana Legislature’s interim study committee structure are not readily visible, but majority and minority leaders are optimistic the alterations will make the process more efficient and control the workload.
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PERF benefit to decline amid fund shortfall

May 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Effective Oct. 1, the Indiana Public Retirement System will reduce the guaranteed interest rate for workers who choose to annuitize investments in their annuity savings accounts.
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Fewer topics but interim committees still have work to do

May 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The internal changes to the Legislature’s interim study committee structure are not readily visible, but majority and minority leaders are optimistic the alterations will streamline the process and control the workload.
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Tax Court: Company creates new tool, entitled to exemption

May 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has ruled in favor of a Hammond company in its attempt to exempt certain equipment from the state’s sales and use taxes.
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Indiana federal court vacancies could remain for years

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The impact of the filibuster rule change on the role politics plays in the confirmation process remains to be seen.
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Badger: Supreme Court will hear death records dispute

May 7, 2014
Steven Badger
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear oral argument May 8 in a dispute over public access to county death records. The case, Evansville Courier & Press v. Vanderburgh County Health Department, raises the issue of whether a county health department’s death certificates, including the cause of death, are public records under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act.
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Same-sex plaintiffs argue the governor enforces marriage statute

May 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs in Love v. Pence, the first lawsuit filed in March challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, filed their response to the state’s motion to dismiss their complaint, arguing the governor has the power to order county clerks to issue marriage licenses.
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COA affirms dropped charges for ex-IURC chief Hardy

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Because David Lott Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, broke no laws, a trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in dismissing felony official misconduct charges against him, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Justice Department outlines new clemency initiative

April 23, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday announced its initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted or reduced by the president of the United States.
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Assertion of state’s rights may not support same-sex marriage ban

April 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana is contenting that states have the authority to define marriage, but the federal court and the ACLU of Indiana have given little merit to the state’s arguments for maintaining a ban on same-sex marriage.
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Hogsett: Machine gun case most ‘egregious,’ ‘dangerous’ he’s seen

April 22, 2014
IL Staff
Joe Hogsett on Tuesday announced the maximum penalty was warranted in a felony firearm case he called the most “egregious and dangerous” he’s seen during his time as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Government drops Conour sentence appeal

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The U.S. attorney’s office will no longer seek a longer prison sentence for convicted legal fraudster William Conour, according to documents filed recently in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Conour’s appeal will move forward.
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Brokers fear criminal justice complex could harm downtown Indianapolis

April 18, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Creating a new criminal justice complex outside of downtown Indianapolis will mean big changes for the Mile Square, and some real estate brokers think the transition will be painful.
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Ethics Committee schedules hearing to review legislator’s actions

April 17, 2014
IL Staff
The House Committee on Ethics has scheduled a meeting to review whether Rep. P. Eric Turner violated legislative ethics when he pushed caucus members to vote against a bill that would have potentially hurt his family’s business interests.
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Senators seek candidate to fill Judge Barker’s vacancy

April 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats have begun the process for selecting a candidate to fill the vacancy coming to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Councilor: ACLU settlement won't deter panhandling proposal

April 9, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union over enforcement of its panhandling ordinance, but that won't deter a City-County Council effort to pass a more restrictive law, a councilor said Wednesday morning.
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New portable alcohol monitoring device gains favor in community corrections

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Offenders ordered to forgo alcohol in order to stay out of prison now have a powerful incentive to stay sober – they hold the key to their freedom in their hands.
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Law firms fight ‘onerous’ proposed tax change

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers representing Indiana’s legal profession are heading to Washington, D.C., with a message for their congressional delegations – kill a proposal that would change the way many law firms report income-tax obligations.
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Former IURC chair’s appeal raises questions on official misconduct law

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Did a former state utility regulator’s behavior that got him fired rise to official misconduct if he committed no crime? An Indiana Court of Appeals panel grappled with that question, as well as which version of the law applies, during oral arguments March 31.
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FSSA able to terminate 9-year Medicaid provider contract without cause

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel unanimously rejected a company’s argument that its state contract was wrongfully terminated. The company argued it has a property interest in continuing to be a Medicaid services provider.
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Hearing on motion for TRO on marriage statute Thursday

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The multiple challenges to Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage are picking up steam with the federal court scheduling arguments regarding a temporary restraining order and the state filing a motion to dismiss one of the lawsuits.
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AG files Medicaid fraud charges against Anderson dental office owner and employees

April 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Nine individuals from an Anderson dental office, including three dentists and the owner, are facing criminal charges for allegedly obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars from Medicaid illegally, the Indiana attorney general announced Wednesday.
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Court upholds Plymouth pay policy challenged by reservist

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The city of Plymouth’s policy on longevity pay withstood a challenge by a police officer who unsuccessfully claimed he was entitled to the full benefit rather than a prorated share for time he spent deployed as a U.S. Air Force Reservist.
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Official misconduct statute focus of Hardy appeal

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
Whether Indiana’s official misconduct statute is unconstitutionally vague was the question before an appeals court panel Monday that heard the state argue that criminal charges should be reinstated against the fired head of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
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Judges to hear misconduct case against former IURC chairman Monday

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday will hear arguments on whether four misconduct charges should have been dismissed against former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman David Lott Hardy.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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