Today, the Indianapolis Business Journal joins the cavalcade of folk asking Carl Brizzi to hang up his spurs.
From today's editorial:
Brizzi, 41, now is dismissing calls for his resignation from leaders of both parties as “ridiculous.” But we join the chorus calling for him to step down and are incredulous that he’s trying to hang on until his second term concludes at year-end.
Consider what Brizzi himself wrote to supporters in December, as he was taking heat for his brief stint as a director of Fair Finance Co., an Akron, Ohio, firm co-owned by Durham that government investigators now suspect was a Ponzi scheme.
“As a public official, I am, understandably, held to a higher standard—and any association or action is subject to greater scrutiny,” Brizzi wrote.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine an elected position in Indiana where impeccable ethics is more essential. As the top prosecutor in the state’s largest county, he has a tough job. His effectiveness is hindered if other players in the process—from deputy prosecutors and defense attorneys to defendants and sitting judges—perceive him as tainted by scandal.
To be sure, not everyone calling for Brizzi to step aside has the purest of motives. Republicans are eager to distance themselves from a politician with no political future. And Democrats are eager to use the controversies involving the prosecutor to cast doubt on the integrity of the entire GOP. The stakes are high as Democrats seek to return to the high-profile post for the first time in 16 years.
But this is more than a bunch of political posturing. Brizzi ruined his political career through his own bad judgment. Those lapses have hurt Brizzi’s ability to do his job—“to relentlessly pursue the bad guys,” as he likes to say. It’s time for him to stop putting his own interests ahead of the city’s and step down.
Amen, IBJ. I know it will hurt my Democratic party to have Mark Massa take over now, and he'd be all but a lock as the replacement. But if there's any officeholder who must bestow confidence upon the public at all times, it's the one holding the scales of justice. As I reported yesterday, it's time for Brizzi to take his thumb off of those scales.
Also, why haven't Mayor Ballard or Governor Daniels joined the call? Okay, let's be frank. Mayor Ballard probably doesn't know Carl Brizzi has problems because nobody's put it in a comic book yet. But the Governor? Why hasn't Indiana's biggest GOP bat taken a swing? Doesn't he care about the mockery this office has become? Or is he simply too afraid that his growing national political clout will look feeble if Brizzi completely ignores him? Or, is it something much more personal?
So what's the deal, Governor? We're listening.
(Tumblewoods blow past).