Ex-INDOT Official Cleared Of Land Deal Wrongdoing, But….
August 1, 2014 — Network Indiana — Indiana’s inspector general cleared INDOT’s ex-chief of staff of wrongdoing in connection with the sale of land along the I-69 corridor. But he says the former official could have saved the agency a lot of trouble and embarrassment, by following the recommendation of an internal ethics officer.
Inspector General David Thomas says in a 33-page report that two county prosecutors, the U-S Attorney’s office and the Federal Highway Administration all agree with his conclusion that Troy Woodruff broke no laws. He notes the sale of three acres of land along the highway route was a forced sale through eminent domain.
But Thomas says while Woodruff reported the sale on his annual financial disclosure statement, he ignored the advice of INDOT’s ethics officer to file a separate disclosure with the State Ethics Commission, in order to avoid drawing further attention to it. Thomas is recommending INDOT adopt a policy making eminent domain disclosure a requirement, not a recommendation, and that the legislature make that requirement a law when it reconvenes next year.
Indiana state Democratic Party Chairman John Zody issued a statement right after Thomas’ announcement:
“Indiana Republicans have done their best to ensure Inspector General David Thomas stays busy. This latest report highlights the glaring issue high-ranking GOP government officials have – ethics. Even after being warned about his actions, Troy Woodruff insisted on doing things his way; he and his family profited and Hoosiers paid for it. Instances like this are why Democrats continue to champion a more open government and more balance in the Statehouse. I hope the Republican-controlled legislature will take action and work to rectify the culture of corruption within their own party.”