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Attorney General agrees to return Durham campaign funds

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has agreed to return $11,000 in campaign contributions from indicted financier Tim Durham.

Fair Finance bankruptcy trustee Brian A. Bash submitted the settlement on Wednesday for court approval.

Bash is attempting to recover some of the more than $200 million Fair Finance owes to 5,200 Ohio investors.

Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. had been run by Durham as part of what law enforcement officials have called the largest corporate fraud case in Indiana history. Durham and two partners were arrested in March and charged with 12 felony counts.

In August 2010, when the FBI was still investigating Durham’s business dealings, Zoeller said his campaign treasurer, attorney Andrew Buroker, created a segregated account for the $11,000.

“Like many of the others that have settled, we had a relatively small amount,” Buroker told IBJ Thursday morning. “It was a cost-benefit decision to settle it very simply and very inexpensively rather than going into court and litigating it.”

The trustee’s settlement with Zoeller follows agreements he reached Sept. 12 with three local political groups. The settlements with the Marion County Republican Central Committee, Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee and the Committee to Elect Lawrence Mayor Paul Ricketts total more than $60,000.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi have not returned campaign contributions from Durham that they say have already been spent.

Daniels and Brizzi each received about $200,000 from Durham.

David Proano, an attorney for Bash, said earlier this month that the trustee is discussing a settlement with Daniels and Brizzi.

More of IBJ's coverage of Durham and the Fair Finance case can be found here.

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  • This should be interesting...
    Politicians doing the right thing is not common in Indiana. Mitch must have his sites on a cabinet position in the next republican presidency. This type of history could hurt his approval. He needs to pay this back. This is a drop in the bucket for him.
  • He Built A Home
    Mitch probably used the money to help build the over $2 million home in Laurelwood in Carmel.
  • Petition for Mitch to give back $200k
    Already spent it? Come on! Mitch has a solid war chest while he is busy hawking his book on the Hoosier tab - and he can't run for office because his wifey won't let him. Let's start a petition for him to pay back this ill gotten gain.
  • Do the right thing Mitch
    Hey Mitch since you are te head of the State, it would be for you to do the right thing, GIVE THE MONEY BACK, so what if you already spent it.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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