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State won't immediately appeal IBM 'deliberative processes' ruling

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At least for now, the Indiana Court of Appeals isn’t being asked to consider a Marion County judge’s decision that held a “deliberative process” privilege exists in Indiana.

That means the state will be turning over thousands of documents, including e-mails from the governor and other state officials, relating to a cancelled $1.37 billion welfare system contract.

Released earlier this week, a notice filed Friday by attorneys representing the state notified the Marion Superior Court that they wouldn’t be initiating an interlocutory appeal in the consolidated case of State v. International Business Machines Corp. and IBM v. State, No. 49D10-1005-PL-021451, centering on the cancellation of IBM's contract to modernize the state's welfare system. The state sued last year trying to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars it had paid the company before cancelling the contract in 2009, and the computer giant countersued on breach of contract allegations and argued the state still owes about $100 million.

But a discovery question about what documents should be turned over became controversial, and the state asserted a “deliberative process” executive process shielding the documents from release. Judge David Dreyer ruled in February the privilege exists but it didn’t apply to many documents in this case. After a private review of more than 11,000 documents, the judge decided March 22 what documents must be turned over. The list included state employee e-mails and some from Gov. Mitch Daniels. The documents are to be released only to IBM and not be available for public review.

With the latest notice, the company’s attorney Andrew Hull says the documents and e-mails are already being turned over to IBM. The state will not exercise its immediate right to ask for an interlocutory appeal on this issue. But this doesn’t stop attorneys from ultimately appealing any final judgment from Judge Dreyer and raising these or other issues that may come up.

One of those issues could be a yet unresolved question about whether the governor and his chief of staff must participate in depositions. The state argues the two shouldn’t have to appear and has requested a protective order to stop this from happening, while IBM contends both were intimately involved with the project and should be transparent in revealing those details.

A hearing on that issue is set for April 18, while a hearing is set for other pending matters the following day.
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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