Monday, December 17, 2012
Ind. Gov't. - "Auditors find accuracy and technology problems in state tax dept., follows $526M in errors"
INDIANAPOLIS — A patchwork system of outdated technology and a work culture that sacrificed accuracy for speed were at the heart of $526 million in tax errors, according to an independent audit of Indiana's Department of Revenue released Monday.Here is a link to the 66-page Deloitte Controls and Performance Audit. Other reports are here on the DOR site.
Auditors for the international accounting firm Deloitte also discovered additional errors with 55,000 taxpayer accounts and 2,880 tax refund requests that were never processed, but said the errors were "miniscule" compared to the larger errors which spurred lawmakers to seek an audit in the first place. * * *
The Deloitte audit caps a year of questions about the state's ability to accurately gauge what it's taking in and how much it has to spend. Auditors Kathie Schwerdtfeger and Bari Faudree described Monday a system in which speed trumped accuracy.
"As indicated in the risk assessment, the (revenue department) seemed much more focused on efficiency of tax processing than they were on ensuring a strong system of control and accountability over taxpayer funds," Schwerdtfeger wrote in the report.
Faudree and Schwerdtfeger also pointed out that the state's collage of multiple filing and processing systems led many workers to create workarounds to maintain accuracy and consistency, a problem that could easily be fixed by transferring to a single integrated filing system as other states have.
Workarounds, Schwerdtfeger said, increase "the risk of errors being made and makes processing of transactions less efficient than they otherwise should be."
The auditors consistently praised the revenue department management put in place in May for beginning to implement changes.
"It's a cultural shift more than anything else, so we have begun adding much more focus in terms of the quality and the accuracy," said Revenue Commissioner Mike Alley after the audit hearing Monday afternoon.
Alley said he had considered buying an integrated filing system, but estimated off-the-cuff that it could cost the state $50 million and could be a while before it was in use.
Deloitte's audit results come roughly a year after Gov. Mitch Daniels disclosed the first major error: the misplacement of $320 million in corporate tax collections.
Law - "7 of the most striking ways states have loosened gun laws"
That is the heading of this long survey article by Suevon Lee of ProPublica, here as published in the Syracuse NY Post-Standard.
Ind. Decisions - Transfer list for week ending December 14, 2012 [Updated]
[Search all the Transfer Lists: The ILB feature, "Search the ILB Transfer Lists," allows you to do just that, back to Feb. 2004. Check it out. Read the instructions. Note that the search is now current through the May 20, 2012 list.]
Here is the Clerk's transfer list for the week ending Friday, December 14, 2012. It is three pages (and 32 cases) long.
Six transfers were granted last week, two with opinion:
- Mary Elizabeth Santelli, as Administrator of the Estate of James F. Santelli v. Abu M. Rahmatullah, individually, and d/b/a Super 8 Motel - This is a March 29, 2012 COA opinion. The Estate argued that Rahmatullah, as owner of the motel, owed a duty to Santelli to exercise reasonable care to protect him, a business invitee, from criminal assault.
- State of Indiana v. Russell Oney - This is a Sept. 24, 2012 COA opinion where the State presented a single issue for review: whether the trial court erred when it vacated Oney’s 2002 guilty plea to the HTV conviction on the ground that one of the predicate offenses to the HTV conviction had been reversed in post-conviction proceedings with the agreement of the State.
- Jamar Washington v. State of Indiana - This was an Aug. 28, 2012 COA opinion concluding:
Although we affirm Washington’s convictions, the State concedes that the trial court made a clerical error on the abstract of judgment. It states that Washington was convicted of Class D felony resisting law enforcement. The actual judgment of conviction, however, states that Washington was convicted of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. We therefore remand for the trial court to enter a corrected abstract of judgment accurately reflecting that Washington was convicted of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.
- Andrew Humphreys v. State of Indiana is a Sept. 24, 2012 NFP COA opinion.
- Cory Heinzman v. State of Indiana is a June 27, 2012 COA opinion. In an order dated Dec. 13th (but with a file stamp dated Nov. 14...) the Supreme Court granted transfer and "remanded to the Hamilton Superior Court with instructions to impose sentence in cause number 20D02-0805-FC-46 consistent with the terms of the plea agreement. In all other respects, the decision of the Court of Appeals is summarily affirmed."
- Hassan Alsheik v. Alice Guerrero, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of I.A., Deceased - This is an Oct. 26, 2011 COA opinion for which the Supreme Court granted transfer, with opinion, on Dec. 12th.
Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 0 today (and 6 NFP)
For publication opinions today (0):
NFP civil opinions today (4):
NFP criminal opinions today (2):
Catch-up: What did you miss over the weekend from the ILB?
Below is the answer to "What did you miss over the weekend from the ILB?
From Sunday, December 16, 2012:
- Courts - Impact of SCOTUS rulings on a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel in plea bargaining
- Law - "Do Rapists Have the Right to Parent Children Conceived in Rape?"
- Ind. Courts - More on: 7th Circuit rules on Illinois "ready-to-use" gun law
From Saturday, December 15, 2012:
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of (12/17/12):
Thursday, December 20th
- 9:00 AM - Juan M. Garrett v. State of Indiana (49S04-1207-PC-431) - Garrett was charged with two counts of rape and other offenses. A jury found him not guilty on Count 1, but it could not reach a verdict on Count 2. Count 2 was retried to the bench, and the trial court found him guilty. The convictions were affirmed on direct appeal in Garrett v. State, No. 49A02-0807-CR-609, slip op. (Ind. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2009), trans. denied. In post-conviction proceedings, Garrett contended trial and appellate counsel had been ineffective in not arguing that the retrial on the second rape charge violated his federal and state constitutional protections against double jeopardy. The Marion Superior Court denied relief and the Court of Appeals affirmed in Garrett v. State, 965 N.E.2d 115 (Ind. Ct. App. March 28, 2012), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
- 9:45 AM - Jason Michael Palilonis v. State of Indiana (42A05-1104-CR-197) - Following a jury trial in the Knox Superior Court, Palilonis was convicted of rape. The Court of Appeals affirmed in Palilonis v. State, 970 N.E.2d 713 (Ind. Ct. App. Jun 20, 2012), trans. pending. Palilonis has petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the appeal, raising issues relating to extraneous jury communications, informing the jury the victim was dead, and the admission of certain statements of the victim.
ILB: See this June 20, 2012 ILB summary of the 37-page COA opinion; the case has not yet been granted transfer.
- 10:30 AM - Felix C. Sickels v. State of Indiana (20S03-1206-CR-308) - Sickels was convicted of nonsupport of his children. The trial court ordered him to pay the arrearage to the mother as restitution. The Court of Appeals reversed on grounds the mother was not “the victim.” Sickels v. State, 960 N.E.2d 205 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a 30-page Jan. 6th COA opinion which included on p. 28:
Sickels next argues that the trial court improperly ordered him to pay restitution. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court stated that “restitution” in the amount of “$86,420” is to be made to “Ms. Sickels, the victim in the case.” Transcript at 87. But in its written sentencing order, the court states: “Arrearage in the amount of $84,420.00 as of 2/8/11 reduced to judgment in favor of Kathy L. Sickles [sic], civil cause number 20D03-9107-DR205.” Appellant’s App. at 118 (emphasis original). These two statements are unclear in three respects and require a remand for clarification.
Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of (12/24/12):
- No oral arguments currently scheduled
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 12/17/12):
Monday, December 17th
- 1:30 PM - State of Indiana v. Gregory Lagrone (49A05-1203-CR-135) Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officers received an open parcel containing marijuana from a private parcel delivery company. The officers repackaged the marijuana with a GPS tracking device and parcel wire, affixed the original label addressed to “Michael Davis,” and then conducted a controlled delivery to the address on the shipping label, a hotel. Gregory Lagrone retrieved the parcel from the hotel, and surveillance officers followed him by car to his home. A short time later, the parcel wire activated a monitor with surveillance officers, indicating that the parcel had been opened. The officers then knocked and announced themselves. When no one answered, they entered the home without a warrant due to the risk of destruction of the marijuana. In the subsequent prosecution of Lagrone, the trial court granted his motion to suppress evidence obtained from the warrantless entry of the home. The State appeals. We ordered oral argument to ask the parties to address, in part, the relevance to this case of United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012), regarding the constitutionality of attaching a warrantless GPS tracking device to a person’s effects. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Judges Najam, Kirsch and May. [Where: Indiana Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
Tuesday, December 18th
- 11:00 AM - Seth Anderson vs. Huntington County Board of Commissioners (35A04-1207-MI-357) Appellant-plaintiff Seth Anderson filed for access to public records from appellee-defendant Huntington County Board of Commissioners. His request was denied for “lack of particularity.” Anderson requested and obtained an advisory opinion by the Indiana Public Access Counselor, which affirmed the Board of Commissioners position for denial. This appeal followed
On appeal, Anderson argues that, as an issue of first impression, an email communication is a “public record” within the definition of Indiana Code section 5-14-3-2(n). Moreover, Anderson maintains that his requests were offered with “reasonable particularity” as required by Indiana Code section 5-14-3-9(f).
The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Baker, Riley and Barnes. [Where: Indiana Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 12/24/12):
- No oral arguments currently scheduled
ONLY those Court of Appeals oral arguments presented in the Supreme or Court of Appeals Courtrooms will be accessible via videocast.
The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.
NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.