Lawmakers seek review of inspector general's office

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Top Statehouse Democrats called Thursday for a review of the Indiana inspector general's office following several cases that they say raise questions about the ethics code applied to those in the executive branch of state government.

Sen. Tim Lanane and Rep. Scott Pelath sent a letter to Inspector General David Thomas seeking a "fundamental review" of the office's duties. They cited a number of troubling cases, including a scandal over former schools chief Tony Bennett's changes to the school grading formula to benefit a top Republican donor's school.

The Associated Press last week published emails showing Bennett and his staff changed the grading formula to raise Christel House Academy's score from a C to an A. School founder Christel DeHaan has donated $2.8 million to Republicans since 1998, including $130,000 to Bennett.

Indiana's school grades are used to determine how much money schools get and whether "failing" schools are taken over by private operators. They also have become critical economic development tools in recent years, used in part by homebuyers picking locations based on the quality of their schools.

Bennett denies any wrongdoing, but he resigned as Florida's education commissioner. He has asked the Indiana inspector general's office to review his handling of the formula change.

The Democratic lawmakers called Bennett's request "rugged new terrain" for the office and questioned its role in absolving Bennett of any ethical wrongdoing.

They also cited concerns about rulings involving Interstate 69 land deals by an Indiana Department of Transportation official and his family and former Gov. Mitch Daniels' appointment as Purdue University's president upon leaving office in January.

Pelath and Lanane also ask Thomas whether he intends to pursue an update of the executive branch's code of ethics.

Daniels established the Inspector General's office on his first day in office in 2005. The office is charged with investigating criminal and ethics violations by state employees and contractors and writing the Indiana Code of Ethics.

Thomas, who was appointed by Daniels, did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.


  • IG and BSU
    They should also check out the questionable bidding and procurement on the Ball State Planetarium purchases.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. "This was a very localized, Indiana issue," he said. As in, Indiana failed to expand Medicaid to cover its poor citizens resulting in the loss of essential medical services, including this EMS company. Well done, Indiana GOP. Here are the real death panels: GOP state governments who refuse to expand Medicaid for political reasons.

  2. In the "one for all, all for none" socialist doctrine the sick die...this plus obama"care" equates to caucasian genocide plus pushed flight to cities thus further eroding the conservative base and the continualed spiral toward complete liberal/progressive/marxist America.

  3. There is a simple reason why WISH is not reporting on this story. LIN has others stations in different markets that are affiliated with CBS. Reporting about CBS blindsiding WISH/LIN due to CBS's greed and bullying tatics would risk any future negoations LIN will have with CBS in other markets.

  4. My best always! Dave Wilson

  5. How did Columbus, Ohio pull off a car share service without a single dollar of public subsidies? They must not have a mayor who is on the take like Indianapolis. Daimler Benz offers Columbus residents their Smart Cars on a market-driven basis: "This has some neat features. Cars don’t have to be picked up and dropped off at fixed points. You find one with your smart phone based on GPS, and drop it off anywhere in the service area you can find a spot – even at a meter. These cars aren’t required to feed the meter so you get free on street parking while using them. I was told this system was put in place on a market basis without subsidies – and that the vendor actually pays the city for the use of the meters." http://www.urbanophile.com/2014/05/26/checking-in-on-columbus/