Government

Former deputy clerk gets 2-year sentence for stealing $300,000

July 21, 2017
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana county's former deputy clerk has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing nearly $300,000 in county funds.
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State seeking to recover $11,000 in public funds related to theft from golf course

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The state of Indiana is seeking more than $11,000 in public funds from a former Edinburgh golf course employee who admitted to repeatedly stealing money from the public course.
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Trump shakes up legal team in face of growing Mueller probe

July 21, 2017
 Bloomberg News
President Donald Trump is shaking up his legal team as he seeks to combat an expanding and intensifying Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
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Lawsuit settlement means more refunds for motorists

July 20, 2017
 Associated Press, Indianapolis Business Journal
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has agreed to repay motorists more than $62 million it collected in excessive fees to settle a class-action lawsuit.
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Trump's voter panel responds to privacy group's lawsuit

July 19, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump's commission on election fraud continues to defend its request for detailed voter information in court ahead of its first meeting later this week.
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Justices allow strict enforcement of Trump refugee ban

July 19, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is granting the Trump administration's request to more strictly enforce its ban on refugees, at least until a federal appeals court weighs in.
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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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Lawyer: Russian developer's staffer also at Trump Tower meet

July 18, 2017
 Associated Press
A representative of the Russian developer who partnered with President Donald Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow was the eighth person at a Trump Tower meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr. during the campaign, a lawyer for the developer said Tuesday.
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Young, Donnelly indicate support for legal-aid funding

July 18, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
With the budget looming on the agenda of the U.S. Senate, Indiana’s two senators are both supportive of federal funding for legal aid, but neither are putting any dollar amount to their support.
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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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Supreme Court to celebrate 20th anniversary of ICLEO

July 17, 2017
IL Staff
Members of the Indiana judiciary will gather this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity.
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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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Indiana appeals ruling blocking part of abortion law

July 17, 2017
 Associated Press
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said Friday he will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that blocks parts of a new state law that would make it tougher for girls under age 18 to get an abortion without their parents’ knowledge.
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Trump tests legal limits by delaying dozens of Obama's rules

July 13, 2017
 Bloomberg News
It typically takes years for presidents to kill federal regulations they dislike, but Donald Trump has found a shortcut: He’s just putting them on long-term hold.
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US hits 50,000 refugee cap, but some others still allowed in

July 13, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. has reached the Trump administration's limit of 50,000 refugees for this budget year. That won't stop some additional refugees from entering the United States in the next few months, but they will now face tighter standards.
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Lawsuit seeks to block Indiana voter data from Trump panel

July 13, 2017
 Associated Press
Two groups are suing the Indiana secretary of state's office in an effort to block the release of voter data requested by a White House commission investigating President Donald Trump's allegations of widespread voter fraud.
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15 in Indiana face Medicaid fraud indictments topping $1M

July 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
Fifteen people around Indiana have been indicted on Medicaid fraud-related charges, Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office announced Thursday, as part of a national crackdown involving state and federal agencies. The indictments alleged more than $1 million in fraud to Medicaid resulting from illegal activities from false billing and prescription abuses to money laundering.
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FBI nominee says Trump-Russia probe is no 'witch hunt'

July 12, 2017
 Associated Press
Breaking with the president, the lawyer Donald Trump picked to lead the FBI declared Wednesday that he does not believe a special counsel investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump election campaign is a "witch hunt."
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Agreement stops Marion County Sheriff from holding immigrants for ICE

July 12, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
An agreement between the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis will stop the Marion County Sheriff’s Department from detaining immigrants for the federal government.
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Sessions said to target opioid care in crackdown on fraud

July 12, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is poised to announce a major law enforcement action this week targeting health-care fraud, focusing on opioid treatment programs exploiting Obamacare insurance plans, according to two people familiar with the matter.
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FBI nominee Wray pledges the `impartial pursuit of justice'

July 12, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Christopher Wray pledged “the impartial pursuit of justice” if confirmed as FBI director, as senators focused on his ability to pursue investigations independently against the backdrop of revelations about a meeting the president’s son held with a Russian lawyer during last year’s campaign.
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Updated law provides more protection for abandoned medical records

July 12, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana already had a statute covering abandoned medical records, but Senate Enrolled Act 549, which sailed through the Statehouse during the 2017 session, updated the law. The new provisions expanded the definition of “abandoned,” added language requiring database owners to safeguard the medical information stored in their systems, and gave the Indiana Attorney General the power to recover the costs of protecting the discarded health records.
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Ex-lawmaker Gard to chair Alcohol Code Revision Commission

July 11, 2017
IL Staff
Former Indiana State Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, has been tapped to lead a review of the state’s alcohol laws, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced Tuesday.
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AG cautions against home repair scammers after storms

July 11, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is cautioning Hoosiers against immediately signing contracts for home repair and restoration services in the wake of this week’s severe thunderstorms.
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Trump Jr. releases emails on Russian lawyer contacts

July 11, 2017
 Associated Press
Donald Trump Jr. eagerly accepted help from what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father’s campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton, according to emails he released publicly on Tuesday.
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  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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