|Councilor Frank Mascari|
I said it before, and I will say it again. There is no excuse - NONE - for City officials refusing to produce public documents. It is sad that the GOP councilors are participating in what appears to be a coverup. Didn't we Republicans learn anything from Watergate? Often the coverup is worse than the underlying offense.
Speaking of coverup, last night Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana reported on the bizarre settlement agreement the City quickly reached with the ROC landlord, Alex Carroll, last December when the Council decided to investigate this matter:
..The bad news is that the reason Republican committee member have stonewalled production of the documents the past few months becomes crystal clear after viewing the unconscionable settlement agreement the city's corporation counsel entered into with the landlord late last year on December 10, 2013 after the ROC Investigating Committee had been formed and began its work in November.What I find interesting is that the only signature on behalf of the extremely one-sided settlement document is Andrew Seiwert, Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis. He is the attorney for the City of Indianapolis. He is not the client. When matters are in litigation, final settlement documents are almost always signed by the parties and possibly signed by the attorneys as well, but the attorney almost never signs without the client. In this case there was no litigation, and thus no appearance by attorney on behalf of the client in a court case that would give him the authority to act on behalf of his client. I am not sure what authority Seiwert would have to sign a final settlement document on behalf of the City. I am not aware of any ordinance that gives Corporation Counsel the authority to enter into contracts (which is what a settlement agreement is) on behalf of the City of Indianapolis.
Under the terms of that troubling settlement agreement, the City agreed to reimburse the various business entities owned by Carroll (401-Public Safety, LLC, Lifeline Data Centers, LLC and Lifeline Construction Services, LLC) approximately $120,000 for several items, including insurance on the building ($9,000), improvements to the leased premises ($40,000), reimbursement of maintenance expenses ($35,000) and data line use ($34,000). The City gave the landlord ninety days to complete a punch list of unfinished items (until May 2014 for some items) that should have been completed before the City's employees ever began occupying the premises prior to the Super Bowl in January 2012. The City assumed responsibility for obtaining permits for all work required to be done to complete the punch list of items and agreed not to unreasonably withhold approval of any work completed by contractors hired to perform the work. The agreement freed up the rent money being escrowed by the lender to be released to the landlord and made clear that the original lease would remain in full force and effect.