A crackdown aiming to end corruption of public officials in Indiana has now gotten underway.
US Attorney for the Southern Indiana District Joe Hogsett and Robert Jones with the FBI’s Indianapolis Division have announced their plans to further expand their investigations and prosecutions of public corruption across the state. They say their specific priority is the Evansville area and Southwestern Indiana as a whole.
Hogsett says this is a historic effort to fight corruption amongst public officials. He says it’s historic due to its focus on the one issue of integrity with public offices and office holders.
The announcement comes following a week where numerous criminal complaints and federal grand jury indictments were handed down. Among these incidents was a Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy being charged for use of excessive force and a Greencastle City Council member who was charged with perjury and giving false information to law enforcement. Also included was a former Bloomington city project manager charged with 24 counts after he allegedly embezzled more than 800 thousand dollars in public funds.
Hogsett formed the US Attorney’s Public Integrity Working Group (PIWG) back in April of 2012. The group is a collaborative effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. It was designed to eliminate a culture of corruption statewide. During its short time in existence, 30 public officials have been charged for varying crimes at local, state, and federal levels. Of those 30, 10 of them are set to go to trial over the next year.
Some of those arrested include two former Indianapolis city council members, the former deputy prosecutor in Marion County, and employees of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, and the US Postal Service.