Local government

Council panel OKs $20M in planning expenses for new justice center

July 19, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
An Indianapolis City-County Council committee on Tuesday night unanimously approved a resolution to issue $20 million in notes to pay for planning and design costs associated with building the new criminal justice center.
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Yorktown official faces complaint for removal from office

July 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
The state of Indiana is employing a statutory procedure to remove the Yorktown clerk-treasurer from office amid allegations that she has failed to fulfill her elected duties for the last two years, amounting to more than $100,000 in errors.
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Central Indiana county debates continuing needle exchange

July 17, 2017
 Associated Press
Officials in Madison County are divided over whether to continue a program that provides clean needles to intravenous drug users.
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Ex-Indiana county staffer ordered to pay $900K over theft

June 27, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge has ordered a former Indiana county employee to pay more than $900,000 in restitution and fines for stealing money while in that job.
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Septic installer’s federal suit against Brown County reinstated

June 27, 2017
Dave Stafford
A Brown County man whose license to service and install septic systems was revoked without notice or a hearing may proceed with his federal lawsuit against the county.
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Records show congressman's wife works part time in $240K job

June 21, 2017
 Associated Press
The wife of a likely Senate candidate averages a 26.5-hour work week in her $240,000-a-year job doing legal consulting for an Indianapolis suburb, according to timesheets reviewed by The Associated Press.
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Indianapolis to receive Justice Department aid to fight crime

June 20, 2017
 Associated Press
The Justice Department says it will offer its resources to help 12 U.S. cities, including Indianapolis, fight violent crime.
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COA: County entities did not owe duty under foreseeability analysis

June 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana county and its parks and recreation and health departments did not owe a duty to a man who contracted a deadly infection while at a county park, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday, reversing the denial of summary judgment to the governmental entities.
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COA again rejects Evansville’s gun-in-park suit appeal

June 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who sued the city of Evansville after he was forced to leave a park after police spotted him carrying a firearm may proceed with a lawsuit seeking damages and treble attorney fees under a statute that bars municipalities from regulating firearms.
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Judge says part of lawsuit in Flint water crisis can proceed

June 6, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge has refused to dismiss portions of a sweeping lawsuit against state and local officials in the Flint water crisis.
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Man charged in Elkhart slaying says he met victim online

June 1, 2017
 Associated Press
A 22-year-old man charged with murder in the slaying of a former northern Indiana city councilman told detectives he met the victim after responding to an online advertisement for casual encounters, court documents say.
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Long Beach seawall dispute goes back to boards

May 30, 2017
A complaint brought by Indiana residents seeking to build seawalls along their lakefront property will not proceed after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday the residents must first exhaust their administrative remedies before litigating their complaint.
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Tax Court affirms board’s valuations of Bloomington CVS store

May 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a case involving the same litigants, attorneys and issues previously raised by the Monroe County assessor and CVS corporation, the Indiana Tax Court has affirmed the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination as to the assessed value of a CVS store in Bloomington.
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Bloomington files lawsuit over last-minute annexation amendment

May 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The city of Bloomington has filed a lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, claiming an amendment dropped into the state’s biennial budget at 2 a.m. April 21 and approved less than 24 hours later is specifically targeting the municipality to prevent it from annexing seven unincorporated areas near the city limits.
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Indiana mayors push Congress to keep funding block grants

May 24, 2017
IL Staff
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is scheduled to speak to congressional members this afternoon in support of continued funding for Community Development Block Grants.
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Whitestown suing wastewater utility for $2.5 million

May 17, 2017
Lindsey Erdody, Indianapolis Business Journal
A Boone County community is claiming the wastewater division of Citizens Energy Group owes it more than $2.5 million.
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COA orders landowner to comply with local ordinances

May 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
In the third appellate iteration of a case stemming from violations of Indianapolis environmental ordinances, the Indiana Court of Appeals has found a property owner allowed its tenant to violate the ordinances and ordered the owner to bring the property into compliance.
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Man uses plastic bat to defend son from goose, gets ticket

May 12, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis man says he shouldn't have been ticketed for using a plastic bat to protect his 4-year-old son from an aggressive Canada goose.
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AP: City pays Indiana congressman's wife $20K/month for legal consulting

May 11, 2017
 Associated Press
A burgeoning Indianapolis suburb has paid the wife of an influential congressman $580,000 since 2015 for legal consulting she largely does from the Washington area, an unusually large sum even in a state rife with highly paid government contractors, according to a review by The Associated Press.
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Gary Airport sues Honeywell over contamination cleanup costs

May 9, 2017
 Associated Press
The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority has filed a federal lawsuit against Honeywell International Inc. to recoup the cost of cleaning up contaminated groundwater.
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At Wabash, 7th Circuit Chief Judge Wood calls for civic engagement

May 3, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the current atmosphere where politicians decry activist judges and presidential tweets assail court rulings, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Diane P. Wood is optimistic about the future of the judiciary.
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Council panel OKs plan to reimburse city agencies for justice center planning

April 19, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
An Indianapolis City-County Council panel Tuesday evening unanimously approved a measure that would allow the city to be reimbursed with future bond proceeds for expenses related to the planned community justice campus.
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Public Lawsuit Statute not applicable in Tipton Co. case

April 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Public Lawsuit Statute that requires litigants to post bond when bringing a public lawsuit did not apply in a Tipton County case in which a couple was seeking to protect their own private interests, rather than public interests, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.
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Indianapolis officials, landowner lock horns over Brightwood library branch plan

April 5, 2017
Dave Stafford
Thousands each day drive past a sign on Sherman Avenue near 25th Street in Indianapolis bearing an unequivocal statement of Sheena Schmidt’s sentiments and an irritant for some city officials — a billboard-like placard that reads, “Say no to eminent domain.”
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20-year-old statute being increasingly used for public-private partnership agreements

April 5, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys have noticed use of Indiana Code 5-23, or the Build-Operate-Transfer statute, becoming more popular. Not only is it being used for more public-private partnerships, but it also gives cities and developers a great deal of flexibility in design and implementation.
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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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