State Government and State Agencies and Lobbyists and Government & Economic Development and Government

Lobbying commission fires executive director after leave

February 11, 2011

The Indiana Lobby Registration Commission on Thursday fired its executive director after placing her on leave without explanation in mid-January.

Sarah Nagy had held the dual role of executive director and general counsel for 14 years at the agency, which regulates lobbying and interprets legislation affecting lobbyists.

Nagy told IBJ in January she was hospitalized for lupus-related complications and had submitted paperwork for a partial medical leave, but she said her leave status was not voluntary.

Nagy on Friday referred questions to local employment-law attorney Kevin Betz, who could not be immediately reached. Indiana Lobby Registration Commission Chairwoman Sue Scholer did not return a phone message.

The commission sidelined Nagy in January after a trying period in which she and lobbyists struggled to interpret the ethics law passed in 2010 ahead of the General Assembly's current session.

The law lowered the threshold at which lobbyists must report their spending, from $100 to $50, and banned them from taking leglislators on out-of-state junkets.

Other aspects of the law were confusing, Nagy said in January, and the commission needed to offer its interpretation before she could generate new forms and explain to lobbyists how to report their activity. One lobbyist, who declined to be named, agreed that the new rules were confusing but said the lack of guidance from Nagy was frustrating.

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