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Challenger alleges misconduct in Westfield mayoral race

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Russell Cameron, who is challenging Westfield Mayor Andy Cook in a May 3 Republican primary, accused Cook’s deputy mayor of improperly using his position and city resources to campaign for Cook’s reelection.

Cameron’s complaint, sent Monday to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, has since been forwarded to the Indiana State Police, according to Cameron.

Cameron argues that Bruce Hauk, Westfield’s deputy mayor, functions as a city manager because he is the chief administrative officer of the city. Yet Indiana law does not allow a city manager to engage in political campaigning.

Cameron’s complaint accuses Hauk of working on campaign activities during city business hours, using his city vehicle for campaign purposes and pressuring city staff to hold political events at their homes.

Cook, in an interview, confirmed that Hauk is a volunteer for his campaign but countered that Hauk does not qualify as a city manager under Indiana law.

“It’s an entirely different form of government,” Cook said of Westfield, which became a city in 2008, with Cook as its first mayor.

Cook called the filing of the complaint “despicable behavior” and “purely political.”

“This gentleman who is my opponent is taking some drastic steps to create momentum in his campaign which he cannot from the minimal amount of supporters that he has,” Cook said.

Cameron said the prosecutor's office would not have forwarded his complaint unless it had some merit. He said his complaints about Hauk are part of a pattern of the Cook administration looking for ways to circumvent the law.

"This is typical of the Cook administration," Cameron said.

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  • Shocked!
    So, is anyone surprised that Hamilton County Republicans break the law first, then claim ignorance and call it an unintentional error afterwards? Thanks Charlie White, for leading the way!
  • Resident of Westfield
    Mayor Cook runs this City like his own private kingdom. Regardless of whether Hauk is a "manager", he is using his position as a City employee to influence the election and City politics.

    Drive through Westfield and notice all the Cook election signes posted on property that is under contract to be bought by the City in deals struck by Mayor Cook.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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