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City fires indicted DMD employees, hires special attorney

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The city has terminated two Department of Metropolitan Development employees who were indicted earlier this week on federal fraud charges stemming from a bribery scheme involving the Indianapolis Land Bank.

The firings of Reginald Walton, 29, assistant administrator of abandoned buildings for the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development; and John Hawkins, 27, a senior project manager for the agency; were announced Friday afternoon.

In addition, Mayor Greg Ballard said Friday that the city has hired an attorney to review city policies and coordinate communications about the Land Bank fraud scheme with federal authorities.

“I want the people of the City of Indianapolis to know that I continue to take the allegations against two former employees of the city very seriously,” said Ballard in a prepared statement.  “Immediately after learning of the nature of the allegations, our team began conducting an internal review which when completed will be provided to the federal authorities.”

Walton and Hawkins were charged Tuesday along with three other men: David Johnson, 46, executive director of the Indiana Minority AIDS Coalition; Randall Sargent, 57, owner and president of New Day Residential Development; and Aaron Reed, 35, a friend of Walton's.

The five defendants each face three wire fraud charges with each charge carrying a potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Walton also is charged with three counts of bribery on an organization that receives federal funds, each of which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sargent and Reed are facing one count each of bribery.

“While a federal court will ultimately decide if these two young men (Walton and Hawkins) broke the law, the evidence presented in the indictment clearly indicates they violated the city’s ethics ordinance and failed to uphold the standards our city expects from its public servants,” Ballard said in the statement.

Ballard, a Republican, said the city has hired Forrest Bowman Jr., an Indianapolis attorney who has conducted internal investigations of state government as special counsel to three Indiana governors, all Democrats.

“We have and will continue to maintain an open dialogue with federal investigators,” Ballard said. “Mr. Bowman will help facilitate our communication and data requests with the United States Attorney’s office and to perform a forensic review of city policies and procedures in an effort to ensure we have the best practices in place to protect the public trust.”

Earlier this week, the DMD suspended all property transfers from the Land Bank while it reviewed recent and in-progress transactions.





 

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  • When are they going to make things right!!
    I wonder when they are going to make the property deal Reggie Walton screwed me out of right??? All the politicans are going to do is cover their own butts..........
  • Republicans and Ballard
    I know many Republicans who feel the same way. He turned his administration over to a local law firm his first day and checked out. Ballard is not a conservative. He's a big spending liberal, who has been taking in by the trappings of the office.
  • Ballard Bites
    I voted for him last time and it WAS the LAST time. He needed to to quit running around the world on useless trips, and giving our $$ away to sports teams. I'll vote for anyone but Ballard next time. BTW...we gave $40M to the Pacers and cannot even watch the games on TV.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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