Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hogsett Proposes Sweeping Changes in Operation of Mayor's Office

Joe Hogsett
Joe Hogsett, coming off his overwhelming Primary victory, announced sweeping changes that would change the way the Mayor of Indianapolis does business.

Here is the news release from his campaign.

INDIANAPOLIS – Former federal prosecutor Joe Hogsett announced today a comprehensive plan that would toughen the Indianapolis city ethics code and provide for an unprecedented level of transparency in local government. The plan focuses on promoting honesty and integrity among all local government officials, and echoes guiding principles that Hogsett focused on during his four years as the United States Attorney. 
“As federal prosecutor, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sent a message to those in government that it doesn’t matter who you are, or what party you belong to – if you betray the public trust, you deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Hogsett. “As mayor, I would apply that same attitude to every level of city government, from the top to the bottom.” 
Today’s announcement comes three months after the conviction of two former city officials as a result of the Indy Land Bank prosecution that was launched by Hogsett’s office in July 2013. During his four years in office, Hogsett also oversaw the investigation and prosecution of two Indianapolis City-County Councilors – one a Democrat, and one a Republican – as well as more than a dozen other public officials across the state. These efforts led to Hogsett being awarded the “Mr. Clean” award by the local watchdog group Common Cause. 
The Hogsett ethics plan includes: renouncing mayoral perks and complimentary club memberships; complete transparency in out-of-state and overseas travel; restoring the two-term limit for Indianapolis Mayor; a top-to-bottom review of city spending and operations; tightening loopholes in the current City-County ethics code; regulating lobbyist influence; as well as the introduction of increased competition among professional service providers. 
Joe Hogsett served for four years as United States Attorney, where he accumulated a notable crime-fighting record. Under Hogsett, the U.S. Attorney’s Office broke all-time records for the number of defendants charged, the number of criminal convictions obtained, and led the nation in the average length of sentences imposed. The office also reduced total spending every year of Hogsett’s tenure.
It's a pretty impressive proposal, and it should make those that have been calling for transparency happy.  Now that he's proposed the rules, he has to get them passed and has to live by them.

1 comment:

David said...

If Joe Hogsett follows through on this pledge, he'll have my support (for whatever it's worth). Having a Mayor in Indianapolis who isn't so dismissive of his constituents as is the current holder of the office will be a pleasant change. But only time will tell. The temptation to reward one's friends and supporters has proven too much for Mayor "Deep Pockets" Ballard. Hopefully, if Mr. Hogsett is elected Mayor, he can resist the urge to engage in the cronyism Indianapolis has been subjected to for the last 7+ years.