Marion Superior judge keeps whistleblower lawsuit against state treasurer under seal

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The whistleblower lawsuit filed against Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell remains largely under seal after the Marion Superior Court released an order clarifying that only the complaint has been made public while all other filings in the case remain concealed.

James Holden, former chief deputy and general counsel to the Office of the Indiana Treasurer, has alleged more than $6 million in state contracts were illegally given to Mitchell’s campaign donors. The law firm of Ice Miller was named as a defendant along with Mitchell, several individuals and banks.

Holden filed his False Claims Act complaint in state court in July 2020, and it was sealed. After the Indiana attorney general and Indiana inspector general both declined to intervene in June 2021, Holden filed a motion to unseal his civil action.

Christopher Wolcott, Holden’s attorney, released the complaint to the media last week. He said the seal had been lifted and once the court flipped the switch, all the filings would be available to the public.

But in the order issued July 8, 2021, Marion Superior Judge Patrick J. Dietrick permitted only limited access. In State of Indiana ex rel. James Holden v. Ice Miller, LLC, et al., 49D142-2007-PL-022005, the judge allowed only the complaint to be unsealed and served to the defendants.

“It is further ordered that all other contents of the Court’s file in this action, including the chronological case summary, remain under seal and not be made public or served on Defendants, except for this Order and the Relator’s Complaint,” Dietrick wrote in the two-page order.

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