Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Indianapolis Criminal Justice Center Appears Dead

The Indianapolis Star reports:
Proposed Criminal Justice Center
After months of furious debate, the $1.75 billion criminal justice center seems likely to go out not with a bang, but with a whimper.
City-County Council Republicans on Monday opted not to call for a vote on the facility, instead allowing the clock to run out on a contractual deadline.
As a result, Marion County’s aging, crowded jail facilities are likely now a problem for future leaders to solve. Barring an eleventh hour deal, the proposed criminal justice center will effectively be shelved until after the Nov. 3 election.
When he announced the winning bidder in December, Mayor Greg Ballard promised that the 35-year deal to build and maintain the facility would cost less than what the county already spends to keep its aging facilities running. But a second opinion commissioned by the council argued that the projected savings would fall nearly $38 million short over the first nine years of the contract, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the difference.


Anonymous said...

If it had not been for the exceptionally fine reporting of Paul Ogden and Gary Welsh exposing the multiple lies Greg Ballard offered time and again about this insider justice center scam, we taxpayers might be on the hook for another very bad deal. I am one Republican who is excited about the near future exit of Greg Ballard from office of Mayor.. an office he demeaned and damaged through inept lack of leadership and low intelligence.

At least this Greg Ballard dirty deal seems to be dying on the vine and will not haunt the pocketbooks of yet unborn Marion County taxpayers. Now it is time to prosecute our failed mayor- and his attorney firms who must have advised him- for the laws intentionally broken in the mad dash to ram through this stinking pile of lies.

Hernan Dough said...

The rendering screams "Kids we're picnicking this afternoon at the Criminal Justice Center!" Surely that's what everyone is thinking.

David said...

80 to 8. That's roughly the number of comments in today's Star re Tom Brady's suspension and the death of the criminal justice center, respectively. Why do I point this out? Because were it not for the reporting of people like Mr. Ogden and Mr. Welsh (as pointed out in Anonymous 7:07's comment), the majority of Indianapolis residents would have been clueless as to our mayor's financial shenanigans. The Star's reporting on this issue has been, at best, abysmal. And let's face it: unless an issue arises that bites our local citizenry in the face, most of them care about one thing and one thing only: the Colts.

I don't think there are many (who have any knowledge of the subject) who will deny that Indianapolis/Marion County needs a new criminal justice center. But this project failed for one reason and one reason only: Ballard. He obfuscated, he hid, and he lied about this deal to such an extent that, in the end, he doomed his own pet project. (And this doesn't even take into account the fact that he waited until the last two years of his eight years in office to finally come to the realization that this city/county needs a new criminal justice center. This should have been obvious to him from the first day he took office, and he should have begun working on it then.)

I, too, will be glad to see this clown of a mayor leave office. My only concern with him doing so is that he will probably land a cushy job with one of his cronies' businesses, making millions off of projects that we, the taxpayers of Marion County, will have to pay. Unfortunately, we probably haven't seen the end of Mayor Deep-pockets.

Before he leaves, though, I'd sure like to have one question about him answered: How can somebody who has risen to high officer status in the U.S. Marine Corps prove himself to be such a lousy leader when he is forced to function in the civilian world? Amazing.