Those living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. For the first 2 1/2 years of Ballard's administration, City Legal suffered with highly inexperienced attorneys like Chris Cotterill (5 years legal experience when appointed head of City Legal) and Jonathan Mayes (2 years when appointed as head of litigation) playing key leadership roles. That situation appears to have finally been addressed with new, more experienced leadership at City Legal.
Back to the utilities transfer, er sale. I wonder if the Ballard administration's attorneys have thought through all the legalities of the deal. In the final draft of the plan, it came out that transfer of ownership of Geist Reservoir, Morse Reservoir, the Central Canal and the Canal Towpath, from the City to Citizen's Energy was part of the deal.
But what of the municipal property disposal rule that governs the sale or transfer of property city property? The rule in IC 36-1-11-4 requires an appraisal, notice of the intended sale and bidding. If the property is worth over $50,000, the sale or transfer has to be approved by the Council. While the approval of the Council will be forthcoming, what about the lack of an appraisal and a lack of bidding?
The "disposal of a municipally owned utility under IC 8-1.5" is specifically excluded from the property disposal rule. However, if you look at IC 8-1.5, you will see that article does not apply to consolidated cities which, of course, Indianapolis is.
I've been around the law enough to know that the Indiana Code has many twists and turns. I assume the City's lawyers have done their homework and this transfer, er sale, of the utilities won't be subject to legal challenges. Then again, you would have thought the City's attorneys would have reviewed the Early Termination provision in the Pacers contract more closely before handing the billionaire Simons $33.5 million of our tax dollars and that never happened. So maybe I shouldn't assume.