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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Indiana awarding $345,000 for Terre Haute project set to earn lawmaker Turner $1.8 million"

Some quotes from Tom LoBianco's long, must-read AP story this afternoon:

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is giving Mainstreet Property Group $345,000 for the construction of a nursing home in Terre Haute that is expected to net House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner $1.8 million.

The money was originally offered by the state so that Mainstreet, which is owned in part by Turner and his son, could move its headquarters from Cicero to Carmel. But now it will go toward the construction of a $15.3 million project in Terre Haute, one of many Mainstreet projects Turner helped save when he defeated legislation that would have banned the construction of new nursing homes.

Gov. Mike Pence had placed a hold on the state aid last year after The Associated Press reported Turner's connection to the company. But an IEDC review found "no conflict of interest" and cleared the money for the Turners. * * *

The $345,000 from the state will now go toward the construction of a nursing home at the western edge of Terre Haute. According to Mainstreet Property documents obtained by the AP, the company expects to spend $15.3 million completing the project and then sell it to a Canadian company started by Zeke Turner, Eric Turner's son, for $20.1 million.

The sale will be enough to net Eric Turner $1.8 million, according to a Mainstreet investment document obtained by the AP, as he owns 50 percent of a company which owns 76 percent Mainstreet, for a 38 percent of Mainstreet itself. * * *

Josh Perry, an assistant professor of business law and ethics at Indiana University, said actions like the state's approval of money for Turner and lobbying in secret meetings of the House Republican caucus "erode the public trust" in government.

ILB: Really. It looks like the IEDC is simply giving money away here to the Turner family without rhyme or reason, rather than targeting economic development projects where IEDC funds are needed to insure success ...

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 20, 2014 04:48 PM
Posted to Indiana Government