Brainard Accuses Libman Of Spending Nonprofit's Funds On Mistress

Carmel Mayor James Brainard is justifying his city attorney's use of a private investigator to investigate Stephen Libman, the former chief executive officer of the nonprofit Regional Center for Performing Arts, by accusing him of using the nonprofit's funds on his mistress, a fellow employee, according to the Star's Chris Sikich.

"Some sources have indicated that Mr. Libman was consistently flying to other cities in the country with his assistant at the (art center) foundation's expense to supposedly view shows he might want to bring to the Palladium," Brainard said. "These sources have indicated they believe it was nothing more than to cover for expensive dates out of town." . . .
Brainard said he's concerned the arts center's funds were at risk for an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim, as well as sexual harassment and sexual intimidation under Indiana law.
He said the city began the investigation to protect its investment in building the $175 million arts center. The city also has funded $2 million toward operations in both 2010 and 2011 -- a payment city officials have acknowledged likely will be annual.
Brainard said the investigation is ongoing. He said the arts center also is conducting an audit.
"We need to figure out what was done right," he said, "what was done wrong, and learn from mistakes, whether they werefraudulent or otherwise."

Again, the issue for Carmel city government should not be whether Libman engaged in improper activities. The real question is why Brainard did not ask the nonprofit's board of directors for an independent audit and investigation rather than using taxpayer dollars to snoop on Libman. Two wrongs don't make a right. Given the City's use of private investigators for nearly a decade, the city council has no other choice than to conduct an independent investigation to learn who Brainard was using private investigators to investigate for the past decade and for what purposes he was investigating those persons.