"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

City-County Council Owes Resident An Apology

Thanks to attorney, Gary Welsh, at Advance Indiana for permission to reprint:

Jack Borgerding was among dozens of Indianapolis residents who took the opportunity to publicly testify at Monday night's meeting of the Administration and Finance Committee's hearing on Mayor Bart Peterson's proposed 65% increase in the income tax. The taxes on Borgerding's downtown home rose from $2,200 to $15,000. "Now you stand up and ask for an income tax increase," he was quoted in the Star as saying at a protest outside the city-county building prior to Monday night's meeting. "Enough is enough."

Borgerding delivered one of the most compelling and scathing attacks on the city-county council and the mayor for their failed leadership during the public testimony, but he didn't threaten anyone. He just gave the city-council members a piece of his mind and then he calmly returned to his seat. What happened next disturbed many members of the public in attendance at the meeting. As Borgerding returned to his seat, Committee Chairman JoAnne Sanders asked him to state his name for the record. Council attorney Aaron Haith can be seen on camera during the televised hearing standing up and summoning a police officer. Later, a man in uniform and another man are seen approaching Borgerding at his aisle seat. Borgerding is then escorted from the meeting by the two men. Several members of the audience become upset at Borgerding's removal and head for the door which Borderging has just been shown. An audible disturbance ensues off-camera.

An eyewitness to these events tells me that Borgerding did not do anything inappropriate other than to deliver one of the most articulate and effective condemnation's of the city-county council's past actions. The claim being made was that Borgerding was rude to a police officer, which is hard to believe according to this witness since the officer was on the other side of the room. This witness heard Haith say to the police officer, "Get him."

I believe the City-County Council owes Borgerding a public apology for his removal from Monday night's meeting. And if Mr. Haith was acting on his own authority in ordering his removal, the full council should reprimand Mr. Haith for a clear abuse of power. I suspect Mr. Haith was taking orders from one of the council members, and if he was, then that council member should be forced to publicly explain his/her actions to the full council and apologize personally to Borgerding. I'm frankly disappointed but not surprised the numerous members of the media present at Monday's night hearing haven't bothered following up on what happened.


Analog Ellen said...

i'm not surprised either. they responded to that citizen like cowardly thugs.

Sean Shepard said...

We need to understand under what authority Aaron Haith has authority to direct the removal of someone. This would be the job of the Sargeant at Arms would it not?

Haith one of the Indianapolis Democratic Party's operatives and is very well connected with the City Council and Julia Carson's people.

In my opinion, I have no reason to believe that elements of our City County Council are absolutely corrupt and working in the interest of their contractor friends and not the taxpayers.