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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Indiana Law - County Change of Administrations

Echoing the change of administrations at the state level, Maureen Hayden of the Evansville Courier-Press reported Thursday on the pending change-over in Vanderburgh County. The story, headlined "Republican letter to commissioners touches a nerve," begins:

The soon-to-be all-Republican Vanderburgh County Commissioners wants "maximum flexibility" when it takes office Jan. 1, and has asked the current Democratic-controlled commission to cooperate by not making any significant decisions on pay, benefits, appointments, contracts or ordinances.

But according to the Democrats' written response, the Republicans would be wise not to count on it. Democratic Commissioner Catherine Fanello, soon to finish her second and final term, said to do so would be to violate "the public's trust." * * *

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Saturday, November 20, 2004
Posted to Indiana Law

Indiana Law - More on Lawrence mayor seeks to bar law firm

Updating an entry from Aug. 5, 2004 quoting from an Indianapolis Star story of that date headlined "Lawrence mayor seeks to bar law firm: Cantwell asks judge to disqualify Ice Miller from city's battle to cut ties to water company," the Star reports today, in a story headlined "Ice Miller won't defend Lawrence Utilities LLC," that:

Lawrence -- Ice Miller filed notice on Friday that the law firm will no longer defend Lawrence Utilities LLC against Lawrence Mayor Deborah Cantwell's lawsuit to sever the city's ties to the private water company.

The law firm still backs the company, formed by several supporters of former Lawrence Mayor Thomas D. Schneider, and will continue to do other legal work for it, said Lou Gerig, president of Sease Gerig & Associates, a local public relations firm. But Lawrence Utilities officials came to believe too much was being made of Ice Miller's involvement in the litigation, said Gerig, a spokesman for Lawrence Utilities. * * *

Cantwell had recently asked Marion Superior Court Judge David Dreyer to remove Ice Miller, citing a potential ethical conflict. City officials have argued for months that Ice Miller should be disqualified because the firm's attorneys might have to testify at trial. Phillip L. Bayt, a managing partner for Ice Miller, wrote the initial contract with Lawrence Utilities at Schneider's direction.

From mid-2001 through the end of last year, when Schneider left office, the law firm represented both the city and the water company. Cantwell, a Democrat, cited an ethics rule prohibiting lawyers from switching sides and working against interests of former clients. Ice Miller's attorneys say Bayt and others at the firm acted as "scriveners," or clerks -- not attorneys -- when they drew up the city's initial contract with Lawrence Utilities.

[Update 11/21/04] More on issues surrounding the Lawrence water utility contract may be found today in this front page Indianapolis Star story, which includes links to a number of the documents relevant to the story.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Saturday, November 20, 2004
Posted to Indiana Law

Indiana Law - More on IU LAW-Indianapolis Dean to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific

Updating this ILB entry from two days ago, the Indianapolis Star reports today that "IUPUI law dean accepts Fiji post: South Africa-born Anthony Tarr named vice chancellor at the U. of South Pacific." Some quotes:

In his new position, [Anthony A.] Tarr, who will earn $234,320 this year, will work with the 18,000-student university -- a position equivalent to the president of an American college.

He came to IUPUI in July 2002, after 23 years in academic positions in Australia and New Zealand. * * *

Tarr said he was contacted about the position and decided to accept because it presents a chance to contribute to an area of the world where he and his wife have had strong connections for at least 18 years.

The position appealed to Tarr, too, because it carries broader roles relating to economic development issues and public-private sector initiatives.

"I absolutely love this (Indianapolis) community," he said. "But this is just quite unique."

One of only two regional universities in the world, the University of South Pacific serves the Pacific Islands region through its 12 member countries, including Fiji, Nauru, Samoa and Cook Island.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Saturday, November 20, 2004
Posted to Indiana Law

Indiana Law - more on Indiana's Flood Maps

An editorial in the Indianapolis Star today titled "Flood maps due for an update" includes these points:

Flood plain maps in Indianapolis haven't been revised since 1988. Recent budget cutbacks also have eliminated dozens of Hoosier USGS stream-monitoring stations provided raw data used in flood mapping.

Homeowners, neighborhoods and mortgage lenders often don't know until it is too late whether flood insurance should be obtained. Zoning officials don't know where to allow development.

Failure to have accurate, updated maps results in property losses, higher insurance premiums and increased payouts to flood victims.

In addition to updating maps, government officials should pay closer attention to where development is allowed and its cumulative impact on drainage. Proper mapping, zoning and insurance coverage is something that shouldn't be put off until a rainy day.

See this Nov. 15th ILB entry for background.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Saturday, November 20, 2004
Posted to Indiana Law

Indiana Law - More on Change in Administrations in Indiana State Government

The Indianapolis Star has more this morning on the upcoming change in administrations, in a story headlined "Daniels' new team takes form: Chief of staff and his deputy are named." Some quotes:

Thursday, the Kernan administration told nearly 150 agency and department heads and other top employees to turn in their resignations, effective any time between now and Jan. 10, to pave the way for the new administration.

"People in appointed positions should expect that it is very likely that they will be replaced," Daniels said.

But, he added, "We're not going to be inflexible about this. Not all (resignations) will be accepted, certainly not immediately. Some may never be accepted."

Daniels, though, made it clear he is planning major changes in state government. He said he has assigned 32 "due diligence" teams to examine different areas. He wants each to report to him by Dec. 10 on "the conditions, the problems and the opportunities" they find.

Yesterday the Star provided a link to a valuable, but very hard-to-read, list of the 150 names (see yesterday's entry, below). The Indiana Law Blog has been able to scan and convert this list to a more useful document. In addition, here is the list sorted by name, and sorted by salary.

From today's story, it appears that the request for resignations comes from the current governor, not from the governor-elect. If anyone would care to send me a copy of the letter, I could post it.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Saturday, November 20, 2004
Posted to Indiana Law