Indiana House Speaker Pat Bauer has requested the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services investigate real estate leases
that Venture Cos. owner John M. Bales of Indianapolis brokered with Indiana state agencies.
Bauer, D-South Bend, on Thursday sent a formal request letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with a copy of IBJ’s April 24 article, headlined “Politically connected broker’s deals raise conflict questions.”
Bauer cited the IBJ article as the impetus for his request.
“The enclosed article from the Indianapolis Business Journal on April 24, 2010, outlines circumstances relating to possible conflicts of interest in real estate leases entered into by the state of Indiana in the past few years," Bauer’s letter reads. "The article specifically cites leases brokered by John M. Bales, which put a company involved in Indiana’s welfare-to-work program into two buildings owned by Mr. Bales. This letter is my formal request for your review of the facts surrounding these real estate leases to determine if an investigation by the U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector General is warranted.”
Bales is a friend and business partner of Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, the subject of a series of IBJ investigative articles over the past seven months.