Friday, January 30, 2009

Ogden: Minton-McNeill a Distraction from Barnes and Thornburg

The phrase "don't look behind the curtain" is of course a reference from The Wizard of Oz, itself a political satire. At first, the wizard seems to be this grand ethereal figure, but it is soon revealed it is an optical illusion as the real person behind the curtain is far more disappointing. As a result, the man behind the curtain begs the audience to ignore him and instead pay attention to the show he has carefully set up.

So as we began our examination of whether Paul Ogden has an unhealthy obsession with Barnes and Thornburg, resulting in biased and unfair coverage of Mayor Greg Ballard and local Republicans, we began to see evidence that when it comes to unsavory politicians in Marion County, Paul Ogden wants you to pay attention to his Barnes and Thornburg expose and ignore other far more blatant examples of persons violating the public trust.

One such example was Paul Ogden's sole post on City-County Councilor Doris Minton-McNeill (D-Dsitrict 15). Ms. Minton-McNeill was arrested this summer and charged this fall with multiple felony counts of assault and battery against a police officer. By most accounts, Minton-McNeill called police to report an unwanted guest at a party at her home whom she believed was a sex offender. When police arrived, the guest in question had left, but Minton-McNeill was drunk and beligerent towards police. A shouting match then escalated to where Minton-McNeill allegedly shoved one of the police officers, knocking her to the ground where she sustained a minor injury.

In October, after Minton-McNeill was charged by a special prosecutor (a fellow Democrat), Ogden on Politics wrote a blog post on the subject on why he would not write on the subject. Ogden had three points:
  1. "I have done some criminal defense work and I see people charged all the time who turn out to be not guilty."
  2. "I don't believe in judging people based on the worst moments of their lives."
  3. "The allegations against Ms. Minton-McNeil's do not involve a breach of the public trust or public corruption."

Point one is the classic "all persons are innocent until proven gulity in a court of law" response, although one might argue that Ogden affords Minton-McNeill this respect while he denies it to his fellow Republican Mayor. Point two is also, like point one, a description of how Mr. Ogden prefers to conduct himself.

But point three is a misrepresentaion, or ingorance, of the facts in the Minton-McNeill case as a political matter. First, Minton-McNeill is charged with assualting a police officer. As a City-County Councilor, Minton-McNeill was appointed (not elected, to fill Andre Carson's seat) to make laws and uphold them. Police officers, also known as law enforcement officers, embody a public's respect for the law. Attacking a police officer is a disrespect of the law and is a "breach of the public trust ."

Second, the police report of the incident stated that when confronting the police officers, Minton-McNeill grew upset that the police did not immediately do what she asked. McNeill went into her whom, grabbed her Council Business Cards, and shouted at the the police something to the effect of "Do you know who I am. I'm a City-County Councillor!" both when they did not immediately search her home and when they arrested her. The implication was Minton-McNeill tried to use her position of power to obtain special treatment that the public would not receive on their own. That is also a "breach of the public trust," and also gives us a hint that if in a higher position of power, Minton-McNeill would be prone to "public corruption."

Yet, Paul Ogden doesn't figure in his analysis that the alleged assault was against a police officer, nor that Minton-McNeill attempted to use her office during the incident. Instead, Ogden wanted you, the Indianapolis blogosphere, to ignore the Minton-McNeill distraction, which was taking good space away from Ogden's real issue: Barnes and Thornburg. Ogden wrote:

"I really think we conservatives and Republicans should devote our limited resources on those offenses that matter the most - those that involve public corruption, breaches of the public trust and unabated conflicts of interest among our elected officials. Every minute we spend outraged about Minton-McNeil possibly shoving a police officer is a minute we are distracted from exposing breaches of the public trust and working for a more honest and ethical government."

In other words, Paul Ogden doesn't want you to look behind the curtain at a real breach of the public trust like the foolish Doris Minton-McNeill. That issue takes away from Ogden's efforts to expose Mayor Ballard and Barnes and Thornburg!

So, why does Paul Ogden want you to ignore Doris Minton-McNeill and instead hold Mayor Ballard and Barnes and Thornburg in higher contempt? Our examination will continue...


  1. "Do not pay any attention to that man behind the curtain" Tat would be you Mary.

  2. Keep it up Mary Jo! The nuts are starting to crack under the pressure of the truth.

  3. Mary Jo, why don't you tell us who you really are and who you're working for? My mama used to tell me that you're known by the company you keep, and that you judge a message by the character of the messenger. This blog is as phony as a three dollar bill.

  4. Mary Jo you posted “Police officers, also known as law enforcement officers, embody a public's respect for the law. Attacking a police officer is a disrespect of the law and is a "breach of the public trust.”
    Considering not too long ago the FBI made several arrests of some of the very people who are suppose to embody a public’s respect for the law for falsely arresting, stealing property from citizens, engaging in prostitution and serving false warrants your post is at most humorous. What you have in Indianapolis are police officers who are criminal, judges who violate constitutional trial rights, a mayor who thinks taxpayer’s money belongs to him and a law firm that doesn’t mind helping the mayor spend his money. If you want to discredit Ogden who consistently stands up for what’s right, champions for the poor and the innocent as well as demand accountability from the mayor and other city officials show us where he may have taken taxpayer money and gave it to some big law firm or the firm’s clients or a criminal corporation. If you could do that I would be one of the first persons to say Ogden joined the rest of the criminals. Until you can show or prove that he is mishandling taxpayer’s money you are just farting in the wind and I don’t mind telling you that the stink is still hanging around you.
    Leslie Sourwine, not afraid to sign her name taking credit for her opinions

  5. Mary Jo,

    Thank you for your blog. Paul Ogden was the attorney for former coroner Dr. Ken Ackles who sued the city for back wages.

    Ackles fired Ogden because he thought Ogden was incompetent. I hear Ogden filed the wrong paperwork which messed up Ackles' case. Ackles is settling with the city now.

    It says a lot when the incompetent coroner thinks you are too incompetent even for his liking.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Anon

    Opinions posted without facts or evidence to back them up is as worthless as a mayor who refuses to listen to citizen concerns. I have no doubt that you and Mary Jo are one and the same person. Discussions on this blog are one sided with no responses to legitimate questions from those who very likely have their hands in the mayor's and client's pockets. For example why did the city pay a private corporation a quarter of a million dollars at the request of a sheriff that is responsible for overseeing the facility and who also has a copy of the contract with the city. Why did the mayor and city council members vote to give a gift of taxpayer’s money to a corporation that the city didn’t owe the money to without verifying the cost by reading the contract? My personal opinion without facts to back them up is that the mayor and the B&T attorneys as well as the sheriff all know who got that money and what is was actually for. The people in the dark are the taxpayers who continue to pay taxes which the city collects and squanders away in one bad deal after another. The harder you attempt to discredit Paul Ogden only gives him more credit. While he has taxpayers interest at heart the mayor and others who continue to spend good money after bad are only showing that they are not only stupid but they also bad money managers. The mayor is an employee of the taxpayers. When employees fail to do the work they were hired to do that is just cause for termination. Taxpayers need to take steps to fire the mayor and other council members who are not doing the job taxpayers hired them to do.

    Leslie Sourwine says opinions are like colons, everyone has one. What the city needs is for taxpayers to do a colon cleansing to rid the city of the cancer that has invaded it.

  7. Anon 6:49 a.m. "Ackles fired Ogden because he thought Ogden was incompetent. I hear Ogden filed the wrong paperwork which messed up Ackles' case. Ackles is settling with the city now."

    I just read this. So funny. I guess he/she figures if a lie is told enough times, someone will believe it. I am still Ackles attorney. I didn't file the "wrong paperwork" whatever that means. Any settlement would be due to the fact he has a slam dunk winning case.

    Paul K. Ogden

  8. Any update on our wounderful example of public service Doris Minton-McNeill?