Friday, February 13, 2009

Feds Find Ethics Conflict at Indiana Workforce Development

On the back pages of the Metro+State section of the Indianapolis Star, the Associated Press reports that a former top official at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development imitated a 2.8 million state contract that went to a company that he just sold. According to the U.S. Labor Department Audit, Roy Templeton still held a financial stake in Work Solutions when it received the contract for a case management system in June 2006.

State officials say that Templeton had been removed from the team evaluating bids after he informed them that his former companies would seek the contract for the computer system, which manages information on job training education, and other services. State officials say though that he never disclosed that he was still receiving monthly payments from the sale.

Ron Stiver, then Commissioner of Workforce Development, said that the removal of Templeton from the team picking the vendor were "above and beyond" what was need to insure there was no conflict of interest.

Federal auditors disagreed noting that Templeton continued to directly supervise two members of the team and had "the opportunity to influence the final decision." Once Work Solutions got the contract, he was directly involved in administering the contract.

Observation 1: Isn't the situation above a little like what is going on at the Capital Improvement Board, with Bob Grand, President of the CIB, claiming to distance himself from he Pacers decision, yet he remains over the Board who makes the decision and would be responsible for implementing what decision they come up. (Granted, I'm not conceding he actually is distancing himself from the decision. That clearly is not happening.)

Observation 2: It is a shame that ethics have slipped so far in Indiana that we have to have the feds come in and police what is going on in state agencies. They did so here because federal grant money was involved and federal rules were possibly violated.

Observation 3: This type of conflict of interest situation is rampant in Indiana. It goes on not only at the state level, but in local government throughout Indiana.

Observation 4: This is a downside of privatization that I frankly did not see coming fifteen years ago. The ability of government to offer lucrative contracts has corrupted our politics. It makes the old 2% club look like chump change.

Observation 5: I found Governor Daniels' response that he would not comment on the audit disappointing. I think the Governor is a great idea man and has done a good job as governor. But one area he repeatedly comes across as weak in, is a lack of supervision and oversight over what is going on at state agencies. He doesn't ever want to get involved. I don't expect him to involve himself directly but I do expect him to appoint people who will take an active role in exercising overisght over those agencies.


Diana Vice said...

It's a sad state of affairs, isn't it? We're becoming more and more like Illinois when it comes to corruption in politics.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I've always said the only difference between what former Governor Blagovich did and what goes on here is that Blago talked out loud about what they were doing. Actually his fault may have been that he was honest about his dishonesty.

Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Pacers' Morris: Team has lost $200M

Anonymous said...

2008 Indiana Pacers Team Value was $303 million

Simon’s bought the team in 1983 for $11 million.

The combined net worth of Herb & Melvin Simon is $4.4 BILLION

Detail of Indiana Pacers $70 million in Player Salaries for 2008

Anonymous said...

2008 Colts Team Value was $1.1 billion

Irsay bought the team in 1972 for $15 million.

Jim Irsay’s net worth exceeds $1.1 BILLION.

Detail of Colt’s $132 million in Player Salaries for 2008

Anonymous said...

Indianapolis Indians 5th Most Valuable Minor League Team in US

No. 5 Indianapolis Indians
Indianapolis, Ind.

Value: $22.2 million
Revenue: $9.0 million
Operating Income:* $1.9 million
League/Class: International League/AAA
Major League Affiliate: Pittsburgh Pirates
Owner: publicly traded
Stadium Name: Victory Field
Stadium Cost:** $20 million
Year Stadium Opened: 1996

Public team recently increased dividend for its few shareholders to $350 from $200.

Downtown Indy said...

I have a hard time figuring out why billionaires are so distraught about shelling out a few million dollars to pay for their indulgences.

I'm even more puzzled why billionaires insist their playthings should be paid for by working-class people who, collectively, won't earn in their aggregated lifetimes what the team owners make in a single year.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 1:46 p.m.,

Why is it that the Pacers are so quick to tell how much money they are losing, but so reluctant to show us the books to see if it is actually true?

Anonymous said...


I think there is some Enron accounting and "managed earnings" practices being used.

Interesting that after CIB has offered to have taxpayers take over $15 million in annual operating expenses from the Pacers, they now want the cities parking revenue too.

Apparently CIB wont ask the Simons for the promised $57 million contribution to Conseco Fieldhouse or for the cities rent payments for Circle Center Mall.