Emmis Communications and Radio Stations and Radio and Carl Brizzi and Communications and Media & Marketing

Future of Brizzi radio show up in the air

April 19, 2010

The future of Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s weekly radio show on WIBC-FM 93.1 is uncertain following accusations that have led Republican party leaders to call for his resignation.

Brizzi has not hosted his "Crime Beat" show in three weeks, due to a scheduled spring hiatus, said Charlie Morgan, local market manager for Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. But station officials are expected to talk with the prosecutor this week to determine whether to continue the show that airs from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

They say Brizzi needs to address the issues on his show that have prompted Marion County Republican Party Chairman Tom John and Mark Massa, the Republican candidate for prosecutor, to request he step down in the wake of a five-month-long IBJ investigation into Brizzi’s business dealings while in office.

“If he’s not comfortable with that, we’re not going to force him to do it,” Morgan said.

IBJ on April 3 exclusively reported that Brizzi insisted on a plea deal for accused drug dealer Joseph Mobareki that would be acceptable to defense attorney Paul J. Page, despite objections from both law-enforcement officers and his own deputy prosecutors. Brizzi also directed his staff to return $10,000 in cash seized from Mobareki.

A year earlier, Page had arranged for Brizzi to own 50 percent of an Elkhart office building worth $900,000 without investing any cash or co-signing a loan.

Brizzi, a Republican in his second four-year term, has said he has no plans to resign.

Brizzi appeared April 13 on the WIBC morning show and was questioned by host Steve Simpson about the accusations. Because he’s already addressed the charges on air, Brizzi might be more willing to discuss them on his own show, Morgan said.

“He can’t completely ignore the questions,” Morgan said.

Brizzi could be absent from the show for a month, if he needs additional time to address the accusations, said Morgan, noting he and WIBC are pleased with the show.

“I think Carl is a very good radio host,” he said. “I think he’s got some good, natural talents.”

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