Mayor Greg Ballard must be in hiding again on the 25th Floor of the City-County Building because he seems to be taking the Carl Brizzi controversy off.
Instead of standing up first and taking a position one way or another on Brizzi's prosecutorial future, like so many other issues, Ballard is waiting for somebody else to take the lead and take a stand.
That person was Mark Massa, who in a pretty political move, pushed Brizzi in front of the nearest mythical IndyGo bus and called for him to step down. Even the wishy-washy Republican Chair Tom John took a position in agreeing with Massa's call. It was the perfect time for Mayor Ballard to step in and join the man you would assume he supports for Prosecutor.
Mayor Bart Peterson took a great deal of criticism when he did not call for the resignation of Monroe Gray as City-County Council President after serious ethical questions were raised about him. So far, Ballard has gotten a free ride on this issue except for Democratic Mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy, who released a statement criticizing Ballard for his silence on the issue.
Some folks have also criticized Democratic Prosecutorial candidates Terry Curry and Greg Bowes for not calling quickly for Brizzi's resignation. You may disagree with me, but I actually give them both a pass here. Curry and Bowes are running a primary race right now and not running against Massa or the political ghost of Carl Brizzi just yet. Any request for Brizzi to step down would have been treated in much the same way that Massa's announcement has been treated.
Bowes sent out a fundraising e-mail today congratulating Mark Massa for taking up an idea that Bowes says he had first but stopping short of asking for Brizzi's resignation. Here is that e-mail:
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
Yesterday, the Republican candidate for Prosecutor announced he would establish a "Public Integrity Unit" to investigate crimes committed by public officials. On February 12, 2010, when I filed my candidacy papers, I announced to the press that I would establish a public integrity unit. I am glad to see the Republican candidate likes my idea.
Brizzi's problems were not new to me.
Although it appears Brizzi is just now getting into hot water, back in December of 2006, I knew Brizzi was a problem. I prepared a report on his ethical breaches and presented a complaint to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. Please go to www.gregbowes.com/Brizzi/Complaint.pdf. Although the Disciplinary Commission decided not to pursue this charge against Brizzi, there is now a pending case against him. Although I am glad to see that Brizzi's misdeeds are finally coming to light, I am very disappointed at the opportunity we have lost to make our community safer because of his failed leadership.
Help restore leadership to the Prosecutor's Office.
Friday, April 9, 2010, is the last day to gather campaign funds that are to be reported in the pre-primary campaign finance report. Please help me show that we all want to restore strong and ethical leadership to the Prosecutor' Office by making a contribution before tomorrow's deadline. All you need to do is click on the button below.
Please check out my web site at www.GregBowes.org for more information.
Curry has been critical of Brizzi for weeks on the campaign trail, so anyone that has followed the Democratic race for Prosecutor knows that the "D" side of the ledger has not been easy whatsoever on his Brizzi-ness.
Carl Brizzi should resign in my opinion, but I selfishly hope he doesn't. The spectator sport that this mess has become has been interesting to watch, and I hear that it's not anywhere near over. In the interest of justice in Marion County, though, Brizzi has to realize he's a wounded lame duck here.
I also wonder what will happen over on WIBC. Will the brass there led by longtime Democratic donor and supporter Jeff Smulyan and new market manager Charlie Morgan ask for Brizzi to leave his Crime Beat program anytime soon?
The Mayor's silence, however, is disheartening. Mayor Ballard should stand up for the same ethical standards that Bowes, Curry, and Massa have been talking about on the campaign trail. By staying silent, he is tacitly approving of what almost everyone is calling questionable actions by Brizzi as Marion County's Prosecuting Attorney.