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Former councilman indicted in strip club case

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Federal prosecutors Thursday charged a former City-County Council member in what they say was a scheme to use his official position to collect $6,000 for helping to grease the wheels for a new strip club.

Lincoln Plowman, also a former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department major, faces federal charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe. Combined, those charges could result in up to 30 years in prison and a maximum $500,000 fine.

In a federal indictment, officials say from August to December last year Plowman solicited an undercover FBI agent to pay him $5,000 in cash and make a $1,000 campaign contribution in exchange for Plowman’s help with the strip club zoning.

Plowman, a Republican who was elected to the council in 2003, was a member of the council’s Metropolitan Development Committee, which recommends appointments to the Board of Zoning Appeals. That board reviews petitions for zoning law variances.

In February, Plowman was put on paid administrative leave from his IMPD job while he was under FBI investigation. He resigned from the police force and the council about a month later as the leave was ending. Plowman faced potential suspension without pay from the department, a step toward termination.

Aaron Freeman was selected by Republican precinct committee members to fill Plowman’s seat representing the city’s southeast-side.

Some council members said Thursday they were glad the case has some resolution but questioned whether Plowman misused his authority in other ways.
 
“He obviously got caught this time, [but] were there other incidents that we didn’t know about?” said Angela Mansfield, a council Democrat who called for Plowman to disclose the nature of his investigation before he resigned from public office. “It put a cloud over the council.”

But both Mansfield and Republican Council President Ryan Vaughn said they don’t think the allegations necessitate more stringent laws to regulate council ethics.

“At the end of the day, you have to elect people with integrity, or you’re going to get people who are acting unethically,” Vaughn said. “I’m thankful he stepped down from public office so this isn’t an issue that we as a council have to address going forward. It’s more of an issue for him now.”

Mayor Greg Ballard concurred.

"We hold all of our public, elected officials to the highest standards and expect them to conduct themselves with integrity in a manner in which they never abuse their power or influence,” he said.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman Thursday said no initial hearing before a U.S. magistrate judge in the Southern District of Indiana has been set.

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  • will it be?
    Will Plowman give up the dirt on Carl Brizzi? Brizzi what are you planning to do to the rat plowman. Will he have one of those random heart-attacks like Roy Houchins did? Hopefully plowman will rat everyone out!
  • Heat?
    Is Carl Brizzi next on the FBI's hit list? Is Carl Brizzi's bald head looking sweaty these days? My that pension is awfully close for you to grasp! It would be a shame if those pesky Feds that have been following you around the past few years were to pay you a visit. I sure hope they show up to your office when the do it so that everybody can affirm what a crook you are! Bad boy Carl! Russ Mcquaid is probably the least of your problems at this point. But don't worry, as soon as the news breaks that they have come for you, I'm sure Russ will open up that file of yours and hit the nightly news. Sleep well Crook Brizzi!
  • High Line Player
    Yeah one of those attorneys that indicated they had $42 in his bank account in court in front of the Judge is driving a brand new big bad Mercedes.... Brings a whole new meaning to Liar... Scratch that I mean Lawyer...

    Plowman is low hanging fruit.
  • Road trip to Elkhart, anyone?
    Can someone please explain why they have not pulled Brizzi's travel records which clearly show he didn't step foot in Elkhart on his "look and see" for the piece of crap that turned into a triple net lease property worth $195K net rent per year, for no money down, to Carl Brizzi and his partner who at last count was part of a family in a bankruptcy court hearing recently who pleaded to having no money?

    Please. Corruption starts at the top with Mitch Daniels, whoallegedly traded on inside information on IPL, then came back to Indiana in closet disgrace, only to befriend and receive hundreds of thousands of stolen dollars from Tim Loser Durham and at the same time Durham, Brizzi and others including ALLEGEDLY MITCH DANIELS were timely trading on Dallas-based Cellstar right before Brightpoint bought them?

    Isn't that why you want Mark to replace Carl, MItch? You know it's true.

    PS, Shorties never win presidential elections. Just ask Mike Dukakis.

    PPS, And shorties who steal from the elderly are scumbags.
    • GOP Take Ethics Outrageous
      But both Mansfield and Republican Council President Ryan Vaughn said they donâ??t think the allegations necessitate more stringent laws to regulate council ethics.

      If there is a better reason for more stringent laws to regulate Council ethics, I don't know what would be. Of course the GOP does not have any ethics as they continue to deceive America on every issue from health care, energy, banking reform, finance reform, Safety and Health regulations, etc.

      With the prosecuitor also in the same boat, I am sure the GOP continues to feel they can get away with just about anything they please.

      Ballard's lukewarm response is enlightening.

    • Curiouser & curiouser
      Does anyone else find the 2nd half of this column to be more interesting than the first? I'm speechless.
    • Is Carl next? Tim? Jim?
      Please get them all.

      Kudos to the IBJ for continuing to lead the hunt of Indy's finest white collar criminals....keep up the great work Greg and Cory!!!!

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