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Indiana officials face deadline on anti-nepotism law

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County, city, town and township governments across Indiana are racing to adopt new rules against nepotism ahead of a July 1 deadline.

Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a new law in March that prohibits local officeholders from hiring their relatives or from having public contracts with them without making certain disclosures. The law also prohibits public employees from holding any office that controls money or policies that might benefit them. Under that provision, those employees couldn't run for re-election, though they wouldn't be kicked out of office.

The Anderson City Council will review a proposed anti-nepotism ordinance next week, and Madison County commissioners will vote on a county ordinance June 19.

Alexandria has had a policy in place since 2009, and officials there plan to amend it to conform to the state law at a meeting June 18.

Mayor Jack Woods said the only major difference between Alexandria's ordinance and the state law is that the state law prohibits elected officials from hiring family members.

"When you don't have a nepotism law or policy, it can get out of hand," Woods told The Herald Bulletin. "You can have a city full of family members, and that creates a lot of problems."

During his campaign last year for mayor of Anderson, Kevin Smith criticized the former administration for hiring and promoting too many relatives.

City Attorney Jason Childers began work on a new nepotism policy earlier this year and incorporated language from the new state law when it was passed.

The law means that "individuals are placed in their positions based on their merits, rather than as a favor," Childers said.

Childers said that the statute defines the term "relative" as spouse, parent, stepparent, natural or adopted child, stepchild, brother, half brother, sister, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, daughter-in-law or son-in-law. The Anderson proposal would also cover grandchildren and first and second cousins.

The Elwood City Council adopted the law Monday, Mayor Ron Arnold said. He said he understands the law's intent, but thinks some of its provisions could be difficult for small communities.

"I would much rather have seen local municipalities have more control," he said. "Our federal government and state government sometimes uses an anvil to kill an ant, and if you don't seriously think through the ramifications, you'll hamper a small community in ways you were never intending to."

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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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