Monday, December 20, 2010

Democratic Councilor Jackie Nytes' Non-Profit Received Millions in Grants From Republican Ballard Administration

In 2008, City-County Councilor Jackie Nytes became Executive Director of the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation. The Mapleton-Fall Creek Redevelopment Corporation which helps low income residents rehabilitate their homes.

The timing appeared to be unfortunate. Nytes, a Democrat who is an influential member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, took the helm while Republicans had taken over the Council and Republican Greg Ballard was elected in an upset. With Republicans running city government, one would think that the fortunes of Nytes and Mapleton-Fall Creek would take a turn for the worse.

In fact, just the opposite happened.

Nytes transformed the sleepy non-profit with millions of dollars in grants from the City. The City's database reveals 15 contracts (or amendments to existing contracts) totalling nearly $5 million have been awarded by the City to Mapleton-Fall Creek, almost all of them under the administration of Republican Mayor Ballard. This includes a contract in July of 2010 that was amended in September of 2010 to funnel $3,350,275 more in federal grants to Nytes' non-profit.

At the same time the City was funnelling millions to the non-profit headed by Nytes, Nytes was casting key votes in favor of controversial Ballard administration proposals. These include a vote for the CIB bailout/tax increase, the Pacer $33.5 million gift and the city utilities transfer.

Was the Ballard administration buying Nytes' vote? It is doubtful there was a quid pro quo. With the notable exception of former Illinois Governor Blagojevich, those who engage in "pay to play" know to avoid making the bargain explicit. But it is hard not to connect the dots representing Nytes' Republican votes and the millions her non-profit received from the Ballard administration.
Note: Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana has written several times on a possible Little Hatch violation involved with Nytes' serving on the counsel while her non-profit receives federal funds funnelled through the Ballard administration. I am in agreement with Gary on his latest post that there is no reason to treat a non-profit which receives almost all of its funding from government should be treated differently than a government agency when it comes to the Little Hatch Act.


Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, The Ballard administration also awarded a printing contract to her husband's business within days of her vote for the CIB bailout.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I may do a separate post about that. I'd forgotten.

Didn't Ballard also use Printing partners for the campaign?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Kyle Walker used her husband's firm for Mark Massa's campaign.

Citizen Kane said...

It is so obvious what she has been doing, particularly with her phony show of concern about controversial issues - then always voting with Ballard every time.

Many people in the city are disgusted at the whole grant give-aways to the CDC's who don't do much of anything except waste taxpayer and government printing press money.