|WRTV's Kara Kenney|
The Indiana Office of the Inspector General found facilities supervisor David Hummel and employee Chris Clyne used state property to run their private businesses while on the state payroll, Call6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.
The inspector general forwarded the findings to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, which will not pursue criminal charges.
"I think it's disturbing, because this is theft," said Julia Vaughn of the nonpartisan government watchdog group, Common Cause Indiana. "For most of us, if we stole from our employer, the police would be called and charges would follow."
Lara Beck, spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, told RTV6 Friday the employees had been disciplined and sanctioned through the State's ethics process, and they have in good faith negotiated a resolution to the violations.
"Our office didn't feel that it was necessary to investigate or pursue criminal charges," wrote Beck in an email to RTV6.
Clyne was suspended without pay for a week, while supervisor Hummel was suspended for two weeks without pay and fined $1,500.Kenney reports that Hummel will still get his pension:
Hummel will retire in good standing on July 31, after 40 years of employment with the state.
According to an estimate using the Public Employees' Retirement Fund calculator, Hummel will receive $3,538 a month in pension benefits.
He is also eligible to receive payment for up to 30 days of unused vacation time.Let me get this straight. I write a memo to the Commissioner of the Indiana Department that my supervisor was misappropriating money from the title insurance division that I ran and committing other legal violations. Within minutes of getting that memo, I am immediately fired and left two years short of my my pension. I'm not alone. Whistleblowers who are routinely fired by the state and I am not aware of a single one who has ever prevailed in court. Judges do not enforce the laws protecting state employee whistleblowers.
Here, Hummel and Cline pretty much admit to facts which which should constitute ghost employment, a felony. Yet Prosecutor Terry Curry (whose questionable practices in office are suddenly making Carl Brizzi look ethical by comparison), forgoes what should be slam-dunk felony prosecutions. Both walk away with brief suspensions and Hummel retires with a large pension. Apparently Cline is allowed to continue working in state government.
If you are a state employee who dares to report ghost employment, the whistleblower can expect to be fired and have absolutely no recourse. Meanwhile the state employee who commits the ghost employment gets a short suspension and continues on in state employment or gets his full pension should he choose to retire.