Fox 59’s Russ McQuaid (who has been on Brizzi like onions on a Harry & Izzy’s steakburger) reports that a waitress for the restaurant name dropped Brizzi and Peyton Manning to a police officer following her arrest for operating while intoxicated.
Her case was ultimately (and properly) handled by a special prosecutor. You might say, “So Brizzi's policy of recusing himself worked? What’s the issue?”
McQuaid reports that Judge William Young “turned down the special prosecutor request three times to display his displeasure with Brizzi's ownership of the bar, the inherent conflict of interest, and the expense of administering such a relatively minor case.” (Unfortunately, the story does not report what the actual cost is for a special prosecutor).
“Hello, Kettle? Yes, this is the pot calling to tell you you’re black.”
Judge Young is worried about how much it cost in one case to appoint a special prosecutor?
How about the cost that we’ll all pay for the class action lawsuit because the Judge has been charging extra money for people to take their traffic cases to trial, in pretty clear violation of, oh, what’s that called again…...oh, right, the Constitution?
My rule of thumb is that if the Indiana General Assembly approves a law and the Governor signs it specifically to undo something I did, that’s a pretty good indication that I’ve screwed up majorly, and I might just want to sit down and keep quiet.
Also, the Indianapolis Star's Jon Murray reports that after Brizzi's press secertary Mario Massillamany resigned following his DUI arrest, Brizzi hired the PR firm of Hirons & Company.
According to Murray, this deal actually saves the taxpayers money because, at $6,500 per month, it ends up being $78,000 annually, which was $2,000 less than Mario's salary, and that's before including benefits. (In fact, I'm astonished Mayor Ballard hasn't outsourced every public information officer job yet in exchange for campaign cash from the PR firms. But I digress).
Two things bothers me about this story. First, the bar shouldn't be how much would we have paid if Mario stayed. It should be how much can we save now that he's gone. Am I to believe that, in this economy, Brizzi couldn't find anybody with a PR background who would serve in his office for eight months?
I'd say with almost certainty that Brizzi didn't even try for fear that posting the job publicly would result in too many punchlines. But I'd bet with, again, almost certainty that some young upstart would come in for a $50,000 salary, the chance to throw massive money into a deferred compensation plan, and an opportunity to say (s)he managed the hardest PR campaign in Marion County history. If you survive that, what agency wouldn't hire you?
But Brizzi needed "professional" crisis management. I understand there's always going to be an overlap between the PR related to the operation of the office and the PR related to the candidate in the office. But we shouldn't have to pay for the impossible - an effort to rehabilitate Carl Brizzi's image.