Friday, April 25, 2014

The Matt Hendrix Embezzlement Story Disappears off Indianapolis Media's Radar

Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana reports this morning:
Matt Hendrix
A curious news story headlined a news broadcast on WRTV yesterday evening before disappearing into oblivion nowhere to be found on its website or any other local news organization's website. According to the report, Matt Hendrix, the former executive director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, was being charged with the embezzlement of more than $90,000 from the organization.

Although GIPC operates exclusively for the benefit of the downtown mafia, it gets its funding from Indianapolis taxpayers and has offices on the 19th floor of the City-County Building. Its annual budget is over $330,000 a year, about a third of which is used to pay salaries. The WRTV report claimed that Hendrix had been given a $17,000 severance payment despite being forced out over accusations of embezzlement.

WRTV reported that a search warrant had been served on the Lebanon home of Hendrix' girlfriend, who was said to be a suspect in a scheme to defraud GIPC by funneling payments to a health care company that she and Hendrix had set up and to which payments had been made. It seems rather curious that a report involving the misappropriation of public tax dollars would disappear as quickly as it was reported live on air last night.
While Gary's focus is on the nature of the allegations and background regarding GIPC, I am more concerned with the statement that the story "[disappeared] into oblivion nowhere to be found on its website or any other local news organization's website."  Obviously as a top story for the evening, the Hendrix story would have been featured prominently on the WRTV website.  Yet it is nowhere to be found.  Because it involves embezzlement from what is essentially a publicly-funded organization that works for politically-powerful interests in the City, it should be a big story for all the news media in Indianapolis.  Yet not a single other media outlet in Indianapolis has reported on it.

Obviously someone is making calls to media news directors, apparently someone with so much clout as to stop the Indianapolis media from doing its job in reporting a story which could step on the toes of Indianapolis power brokers.  To me the ability to suppress news coverage is actually a bigger story than the Hendrix charges.


Flogger said...

I took a peak at your link to GIPC. If you check out the Board of Directors page, it has people from Media, Academics, Non-Profits, Attorneys and Private Industry. The Pacers, Colts and IMS are represented. The Media is well represented on the list, except I did not notice WRTV.

I would agree the power to manipulate the news stories that are reported is very disturbing.

The Mega-Media in Indy has carefully avoided any stories on Crony-Capitalism or Corporate Welfare.

Nicolas Martin said...

The story was on the site but well hidden not found by searching the site for “Matt Hendrix."

George said...

Story has been updated: Facing 26 counts.