I am a great believer in open records and sunshine on government operations. When people in government insist on operating in secrecy it is almost always because they are doing something wrong and often self-serving. If there is a transition contract out that may have led to one law firm dominating city government and using the firm's position to benefit clients at the expense of taxpayers (which certainly appears to be the case,) people have a right to know. Republicans have the most to lose by having these embarrassing exposures taking place in 2011 rather than in 2009, when those problems can be addressed. If the GOP is going to have any chance to win the Mayor's office and retain a majority on the council in 2011, Mayor Ballard needs to fix the embarassing the problems with his administration now. Those problems originated with the transition and have continued since.
I know that if the below request were privately made, it would be ignored and I would spend weeks fighting to get my hands on the contract. For that reason, I am making my open records request public. We need honesty and full disclosure. No more excuses.
Attorney at Law
3525 W. 55th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46228
Phone: (317) 297-9720
January 14, 2009
Mayor Greg Ballard
City-County Building, 25th Floor
Indianapolis City-County Building
Indianapolis, IN 46204
RE: Open Records Request for Barnes & Thornburg Transition Contract
Dear Mayor Ballard:
Pursuant to Indiana's Open Records Law, IC 5-14-3 et seq, I am requesting the following:
A copy of any contract(s) signed by you (or your representative) with the law firm Barnes & Thornburg for work done during the transition period between your election on November 6, 2007 and your assumption of the Mayor's office on January 1, 2008, which contract(s) includes but is not limited to the work performed by said law firm partners, associates or contractors in setting up and organizing the executive department of the government of the City of Indianapolis.If you are claiming the document requested is subject to an exception to the Indiana Open Records Law, please identify that exception and provide an explanation as to why you believe the exception applies.
Because this request is being made by mail, IC 5-14-3-9(b) provides that you have seven days to respond.
Paul K. Ogden