OmniSource Deal Smells Worse The More We Learn

The IBJ's Cory Schouten picks up a few more details on how the $300,000 payment by OmniSource in consideration of Marion Co. Prosecutor Terry Curry's office agreeing to drop all criminal charges against the giant scrap metal dealer that arose out of a lengthy and costly investigation will be divided up. A $45,000 contingency fee will come off the top to pay Greg Garrison, who brought the original civil forfeiture action on behalf of the county, and a second lawyer that Terry Curry's office brought into the process after Curry took office. That would be a Democratic operative, Mark Sullivan, who is getting an equal split with Garrison, even though he came into the lawsuit very late. The deal also has an OmniSource executive claiming he was misled to believe the funds would all be paid into a fund to benefit police training.

First in line to be paid: Contingent-fee private attorneys Greg Garrison, who filed the initial civil forfeiture case while under contract with former Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, and Mark K. Sullivan, an outside attorney brought on by Curry as Garrison's co-counsel. The pair will split 15 percent of the settlement, or $45,000, plus filing fees.
The remaining $255,000 will be split, with 20 percent going to the prosecutor's office, 75 percent going to IMPD, and 5 percent for a joint fund administered by the prosecutor and director of public safety, said Chief Deputy Prosecutor David Rimstidt.
The total going to IMPD, about $191,250, does not sit well with OmniSource officials.
The company would not have agreed to the deal if they knew the settlement would pay an "ounce of tribute to this scurrilous investigation," said Ben Eisbart, a vice president at Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics Inc., OmniSource's parent company.
OmniSource intended the "donation" to be used for law enforcement programs, including training on how to prevent scrap-metal theft, an extension of the company's own more-than-$1 million investment in anti-theft measures at its five local scrap yards, Eisbart said.
"The citizens of Indianapolis will be infinitely better served by having well-trained individuals than by paying some lawyers," he said. "We're beside ourselves. We want to meet with the prosecutor to find out where it went off the track. This was never about money."
Garrison, for his part, is extremely upset Curry decided to drop the case against OmniSouce. "Letting those guys go in the face of the powerful evidence that supported both the criminal and civil cases is inconceivable to me," Garrison wrote in an e-mail to IBJ on Thursday. "Damn." And just who is Mark Sullivan? Let's look back at this item the AP back in 2006 about a State Police cover up of an 18-year-old murder investigation:

A grand jury has indicted two retired Indiana State Police investigators in an unsolved murder, saying they covered up evidence implicating a former Pike County prosecutor as a possible suspect in the 18-year-old slaying.
Former investigators James Verle and Larry Eck were free on bail Thursday after their arrests Wednesday on felony perjury charges.
The indictment says they misled investigators by removing then-prosecutor Mark Sullivan from a list of potential suspects in the June 1988 murder of Rick Deffendall at his Oakland City home. It also says they ordered a subordinate to exclude information that linked Sullivan romantically to Deffendall's ex-wife from state police files.
"This grand jury can only assume that the motivation for such cover-up is that such evidence would be damaging to Sullivan," the indictment said.
The indictment does not suggest Sullivan was involved in Deffendall's death, but rather faults the investigators for failing to pursue him as a suspect. State police never interviewed Sullivan in the case, the document states.
It doesn't stop there. Curry also hired a throwback to the disgraced former prosecutor James Kelley as his chief deputy, David Rimstidt, mentioned in Schouten's story discussing the OmniSource deal, who served in that same capacity for Kelley. While Kelley served as prosecutor back in the 1970s, he hired Joe Miller, a suspected drug dealer and child molester, as his grand jury bailiff in consideration for sexual favors Miller performed for Kelley according to information that I learned from a retired Indianapolis police vice officer who investigated both Miller and Kelley at the time. Kelley didn't seek re-election and left town after the Star reported his presence at a late-night party on Indianapolis' eastside where three men in attendance at the party were later executed and dumped in a field up in Hamilton County. Kelley had urged the friend of the three men who first reported them missing not to mention his presence at the party when the man met with Indianapolis police homicide investigators according to former Indianapolis Star reporter Dick Cady.

Miller, who went on to make a vast fortune manufacturing and selling an illicit recreational drug, Poppers, last year committed suicide after federal investigators raided his business and home for an undisclosed reason. Miller was one of the largest campaign contributors to state and local Democrats in the years preceding his death. Curry attended an event hosted by Indiana Stonewall Democrats in Miller's honor prior to his election as prosecutor. The more we learn about Terry Curry, the more we're concerned about the integrity of his office, which he promised to restore when he ran for the office last year.