Saturday, December 12, 2009

When Did Carl Brizzi Get Mind-Numbingly Forgetful?

Greg Andrews at the Indianapolis Business Journal deserves a Pulitzer for his investigative work on the Tim Durham/Carl Brizzi nexus. He reports now that Prosecutor Brizzi's financial disclosure that he filed when he intended to run in the 5th Congressional District before Dan Burton decided to stay shows he owned stock in Red Rock, which was worth between $1 to $1,000. The value is not impressive until you realize the stock is worth pennies, so we might be talking about 10,000+ shares.

But it's not the value that troubles. It's that Brizzi had it at all.

First, this stock belongs to a Durham-dominated company that loaned millions to National Lampoon's, the company for which Durham took over operations as CEO when Dan Laikin pled guilty to trying to manipulate its stock value. The SEC also accused Dan Laikin of trying to manipulate the value of Red Rock, though in exchange for a plea of conspiracy with respect to National Lampoon's, the government dropped that charge.

(For those keeping score at home, that's three companies in which Brizzi has invested that have been investigated by the SEC).

But this from the IBJ story:

Brizzi declined IBJ’s requests for an interview about his investments. In an e-mail exchange, he initially said he did not think he owned stock in Red Rock. When presented with the disclosure, he said he thought he had sold it since the filing.

The financial disclosure report was filed in May of 2009. Brizzi can't remember that he didn't sell a stock that turned worthless after May of 2009? Sorry, but he is really giving credence to that classic lawyer joke: How do you know a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving.

Maybe he did forget. "Forgetfulness" is nothing new to Brizzi. In his initial Statement of Economic Interests for the 2004 calendar year, Brizzi states that the only gift he received was a crystal bowl and glasses worth an estimated $100 from his employees at the prosecutor's office. That's it.

In his 2004 amended statement, which he filed almost a year later, on December 22, 2005, he includes 2 tickets to the Indy 500, Brickyard, and F1, 2 tickets to a Notre Dame game, 3 tickets to a Colts game, and honorary memberships to the Columbia Club and Highland Country Club. The total value of all of these gifts is $8,779.

Now, how does somebody attend the triple crown of Indy auto racing and forget that they didn't pay to go? Would it be naive to think Brizzi went to the Columbia Club or Highland in 2004? If so, how would he forgot that he didn't take any cash out of his wallet?

In subsequent posts, I was going to dissect Brizzi's Statements further, including pointing out that he actually created a company called "Vergina," arguably the most tragically-named company in history. (Somebody please tell me this name has family significance. The post would have been titled "The Vergina Monologue." Ba da boom. I'm here all week. Tip your waitresses!) At least Brizzi had the good sense to change the name to to CJB Management.

But now I feel like I'm really piling on. Every Republican in Marion County of note is right now looking for a door through which to push Brizzi before this thing blows up and tarnishes their entire party and its leadership.

It may already be too late.



Anonymous said...

Maybe your article should be entitled, "Brizzi's Dishonor."

All of this is incredibly sad. I feel sorry for Brizzi's children and for his elderly mother, who must be so ashamed.

Carl, we know you are reading this. Do the right thing for once in your life and tell the truth. The feds have the goods, don't you get it?

Paul K. Ogden said...

The problems in the Marion County GOP are much, much deeper than represented by Brizzi's problem.

Here we have the first Republican mayor in 8 years, and rank and file Republicans can't stand the guy. How is Ballard going to get re-elected when half of his own party hates him?

The only people who seem happy with Ballard are those folks who have been put in position where they can line their pockets with money while the inattentive Mayor gets walked on.

Chris Worden said...

Anonymous. I like it! I like it! You bested my Carlito Brizzi's Way for movie trivia buffs.