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Turner officially resigns from Indiana House

November 25, 2014

State Rep. Eric Turner has resigned his Indiana House seat following a Statehouse scandal that has placed ethics reform at the center of the 2015 session.

A House spokeswoman said Turner's resignation was received Tuesday. It takes effect Nov. 30.

Turner, a Republican, announced in September that he would resign if re-elected and take a job with a Christian leadership group in Atlanta. He easily defeated Democrat Bob Ashley on Nov. 4.

An Associated Press investigation found Turner had millions of dollars at stake when he fought legislation behind the scenes that would have banned the construction of new nursing homes.

Turner insisted he did nothing wrong.

"I leave the Legislature with my honor, my integrity and my head held high, knowing for every one of the years I served, I always tried to do what was right," Turner wrote.

A House ethics investigation determined that Turner did not technically violate any rules. But Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma later removed Turner from leadership and promised major reforms designed to restore public trust in the Legislature.

Turner is joining Equip Leadership Inc., a not-for-profit organization specializing in mentoring and equipping Christian leaders. Turner is a long-time financial supporter of Equip. He and his wife spent a week with the organization in Cyprus teaching leadership to 60 Christian pastors and leaders from 12 Middle East Muslim countries.

He said his new job is "all volunteer, and I will pay all of my own expenses."

An Associated Press investigation earlier this year uncovered Turner's major financial stake in his family nursing home business, Mainstreet Property Group. Internal Mainstreet documents showed that Turner and other direct stakeholders made millions of dollars every time they built a new home and then sold it to another, affiliated company incorporated in Canada.

Bosma has promised that drafting new rules for financial disclosure and when lawmakers must recuse themselves on an issue will be a top priority during the upcoming session. The House Ethics Committee is planning to meet in December to consider new ethics rules.

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