Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana beat me to the punch in noting the hypocrisy of Council President Ryan Vaughn in his comments about former Councilor Lincoln Plowman ethical problems which resulted in the recent federal indictment. Here is what Vaughn told the Star reporter:
"It's a matter of personal integrity," Vaughn said. "You either have what it takes to hold office or you don't. . . . It's an issue of personal character. If the allegations are true, then no, he should not hold public office."
Vaughn said Plowman's alleged actions reflect only on himself.
"Unethical people will commit unethical acts," he said, "and ethical people will abide by the rules."
Ryan Vaughn complaining about someone's ethics is like John Dillinger calling Al Capone a crook. I couldn't say it any better than Gary Welsh did on his blog:
Does Vaughn actually believe he is more ethical than Lincoln Plowman? As soon as the Republicans gained control of the council, Vaughn, whose mentor is Carl Brizzi, traded on his status as a councilor for a high-paying job as a lobbyist with Barnes & Thornburg, a law firm that is paid big bucks for legal work by the Ballard administration at the same time the law firm lobbies for a variety of interests before city-county agencies. He refuses to recuse himself from matters that clearly benefit his law firm and its clients and actually takes a direct role in steering initiatives through the council that impact his law firm or its clients. I agree with Vaughn it's an issue of personal character, but he must have a pretty twisted concept of what it means to be ethical.
A few years ago Republicans complained, correctly, about Council Monroe Gray's ethical problems. Yet Republicans tolerate conduct from Vaughn that is even worse. For example, Vaughn has not only refused to recuse himself on the consideration of the ACS parking contract, he has publicly argued in favor of the the deal, a deal which will enrich a B&T client by as much as $1.2 billion.
Vaughn's conflicts-of-interest and support of insider dealing in the administration are as unethical and much more damaging to the public interest than anything Plowman has thus far been reported as doing.
Unethical people will commit unethical acts," he said, "and ethical people will abide by the rules."
Ethical people in Indiana and public service do not exist. The legal system is used to cover each other up and as a lawyer so well put it the legal recourse of ethics and criminal violations the legal system is not the forum to use.
The capacity and willingness to break the law and the unwillingness to not do anything about it is simply a State and it's people out of control.
Indiana and not just Ryan Vaughn is the highest example of hypocrisy.
I hope someone is left to clean up the pieces of a shattered state when it all comes out.
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