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Ethics panel set to review Turner lobbying situation

April 23, 2014

The Indiana House Ethics Committee is set to review the actions of a senior lawmaker who worked in private to block legislation that would have cost his family's company millions of dollars.

Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner fought a nursing home construction ban in the final days of the 2014 session. The Associated Press reported last week that Turner's 38-percent ownership stake in Mainstreet Property Group means he stands to receive $1 million or more on each new home that the company builds.

Turner has said he did nothing wrong and argues the ban wouldn't have caused him financial harm.

The ethics panel is scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon at the Statehouse. House ethics rules place limits on official actions, but Turner's actions came during private meetings of House Republicans.

Lawmakers said last-minute lobbying and promises about job creation killed the nursing-home legislation.

The ethics panel could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of unclear ethics rules and the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

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