Saturday, April 10, 2010

IBJ Asks Brizzi to Step Down. Mr. Mayor, Governor?!? Where are you?!?

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).



Anonymous said...

Could the governor be waiting to see how much is left in Carl's war chest at the next filing which is due soon? At the time of Helen Marchal's short campaign, Tom John didn't want to offend Carl as everyone was drooling over that $500,000.

It is probably becoming obvious that a large portion of that money has been or will be spent on legal fees. It is rarely mentioned that Carl faces charges filed by the Disciplinary Commission. Additionally, Carl and David have both been asked to respond to a recent complaint filed against them. The lawyers who represent Carl in those matters aren't cheap.

Anonymous said...

Chris - there is no incentive for Carl to step down. Why not let the MCGOP just implode?

Anonymous said...

Mark Massa sure didn't look happy to be on the steps announcing Brizzi should resign, sheepishly avoiding eye contact with the camera.

I honestly question whether or not others in the local political scene ALSO traded in Cellstar right before Brightpoint bought them.

We'll see who did what when the SEC finishes its investigation.

PS, "Who did what" includes daughters working in the securities industry, neighbors, friends, family and support personnel.

Just sayin' said...

If you want some help on crimes Brizzi allegedly has committed, review the link on his party buddy and felon Daniel Laikin's guilty plea--notice the dropping of charges on Red Rock Pictures stock manipulation in return for the guilty plea on Lampoon?

Now go pull Carl Brizzi's disclosures and see how he gobbled up hundreds of thousands of shares of....gasp...Red Rock Pictures....this, of course, on the heels of his spectacular bet on Cellstar stock shortly before Brightpoint bought them.

Not bad for a guy who was sued in June of 2004 for failure to pay about three months of his kids gymnastics bills.

For those not familiar with financial schemes, if charged and convicted this is called insider trading and felony stock manipulation. It is a FACT this entire case is under continuing investigation by the Philadelphia SEC. It is also a FACT that Daniel Laikin's sentencing last week was POSTPONED until the case is sorted out with the rest of the parties involved.

I did notice Carl's scalp has been sweating a lot lately. And, he went to LA and was allegedly spotted having dinner with Tim Durham last week.


Blog Admin said...

Anon 10:06,

as Chris said, the Prosecutor's office should hold the public trust. While you're viewing it as the best way to score political points, Chris (and myself, as well) sees the consequence being that criminals, possibly violent ones, might not be prosecuted to the full extent of the law because they hire a Brizzi Buddy for their defense.

If it's worth having drug dealers and murderers on the street just so the Dems can have the Prosecutor's Office in 2011, cool. It isn't, though, with me.

That being said, I disagree with Chris' opinion that if Massa is the replacement, he wins. He'll be repenting for Brizzi's sins. He'll still have to work hard to get elected.

Chris Worden said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa! I never said Massa would win! I said it's easier for him to TRY to establish a record as a reform-minded prosecutor if he has some time in the office to walk the walk. That's a far cry from saying he's going to win.

Mann Law, P.C. said...

Do we know the Mayor and Governor have not asked that he step down? What do they gain for them or what affect would a public call for him to step down? Do you really think Brizzi cares what they think? He has shown what he only cares about his own financial well being. If it is true he gets a $30,000 a year pension by holding until the end of the year, he will stay. The only way I see it is if someone has the ability to call for a special prosecutor or if the Disciplinary Commission does something, which is not likely that quickly. Maybe he is using it as a chip to spend in some investigation. I think it interesting the Star waited this long. Has anyone looked at his divorce paperwork to see if he lied on it and claimed to be a resident of Boone county? People are expecting ethical actions from Brizzi, who is a man who has never given them a reason to expect it. I think it is interesting that the media is up in arms about criminals who might get special deals but you never read about innocent people who are prosecuted for political reasons. There are now and have been for years problems with the Marion county prosecutor's office.

Chris Worden said...


It seems based on your comments that you are agreeing with people who say the ONLY reason Mark Massa made the call was to further his political standing, right? Clearly, Brizzi wasn't going to care about what Massa said, so in your school of thought, Massa had no reason except his own self-interest to demand the resignation publicly.

Sorry, but for me it's not about whether you get him out. It's about having a unified bi-partisan position of all significant leaders to show the public that Brizzi's conduct is, beyond question, harmful to the administration of justice. This is critical as Brizzi clearly contends otherwise.

The fact the Mayor and Governor won't weigh in says something about them to me - that they're more afraid of how they'll be perceived if they ask for his resignation and don't get it than anything else. That's what troubles about this PUBLIC silence.

Behind closed doors, they may be wailing and gnashing teeth, but being a leader says you make a principled statement for the benefit of the public.

Seriously, how would you feel about a politician from Illinois who said, "Why would I join a call for Rod Blagojevich's resignation? He's clearly shown he's not going to do what I say?!?"

I'd label that person either: (1) a bit too concerned about their image for my tastes or (2) a bit too off in the moral compass department.

So what if the Governor and Mayor asks and Brizzi says no? It's not about the Governor or the Mayor. It makes me nervous if they can't see that.

Anonymous said...

Look at the free parking permits MCPO staffers use to park at parking meters for free all day. No oversight and no reasoning other than transferring an office expense for parking to another agency to pay at taxpayers expense of course.

Mann Law, P.C. said...

In your answer to the question about Blogo. I feel politicians are in it for themselves. I feel the same about the mayor and governor as I did about the democrats who did not call for the resignation of William Jefferson when found with $90,000 in his freezer, with the democrats who have not called for Visclosky to resign, the democrats who have not called for Rangel to resign, the Republicans who did not call for Nixon to resign, the Republicans who have not called for Brizzi to resign, Tom Delay, John Doolittle. The list is to long. The only consistency is the opposing party is quick to seek resignation and the party of the person only seeks it when it may hurt their own chance of holding on to power.