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Outrage: ACS Consultant Named New Head Of FSSA

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democraticinsurgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 09:24 AM
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Outrage: ACS Consultant Named New Head Of FSSA
From the Advance Indiana blog, which among other things has been a leader in tracking corruption in Indianapolis and the state. (This the same ACS that stands to gain gazillions as the outsourced parking meter contractor in Indy. Vote on that is coming soon)

If you thought the stench of political corruption in the Daniels and Ballard administrations couldn't get worse, it just did. Unbelievably, Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is on a trade mission to Japan and China, has announced Michael Gargano, a former paid consultant for ACS, is the new Secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration. Until now, he has been the chief of staff to Anne Murphy, who took over for Mitch Roob, another former ACS executive before he joined the Daniels administration. Gargano became chief of staff after Murphy took charge of the agency. It was Roob's decision to enter into a controversial privatization agreement with IBM and its partner, ACS, for FSSA's welfare services. After the privatization failed so badly, Gov. Daniels terminated the contract after Roob had left the agency to run IEDC and Murphy had taken over the agency. The state and IBM have traded lawsuits against each other, and some estimates calculate the state's losses on that deal as high as $500 million. The state oddly decided to retain ACS as the lead contractor for welfare services despite its role in the failed privatization effort.

Adding to the controversy was the Daniels' administration's insistence that Barnes & Thornburg represent the state in that lawsuit, notwithstanding the fact that the firm has served as ACS's paid lobbyist in the State of Indiana in matters before the Daniels' administration and the Indiana General Assembly, as well as the City of Indianapolis. An engagement agreement signed by the law firm with the state detailed the conflicts of interest anticipated by the firm's representation of the state because of its representation of ACS.

I first reported on Gargano's gigantic conflict of interest on October 15 after Murphy announced she was leaving her position. I noted Gargano's role as the owner of the Watertown Group, which at that time still had an active website on the Internet that boasted of its role as a consultant for a number of state agencies, including FSSA, as well as his role as a consultant for ACS. Shortly after I posted that bit of information, the link to the firm's website went dead. Gargano's appointment takes effect on November 15 according to the press release issued by the Governor's office. The Governor's press release conveniently omits the fact that Gargano once worked as a consultant to ACS.

Gargano is married to Ann Lathrop, the president of the CIB and a former ACS executive, who succeeded Barnes & Thornburg's Bob Grand in that role. Prior to that, she served as the CIB's treasurer. She was appointed to the CIB at the recommendation of Grand. Grand's service on that board raised serious conflict of interest concerns because he and his law firm had represented Simon family interests, including the Indiana Pacers. The CIB just recently under Lathrop's leadership agreed to give a $33.5 million additional subsidy to the Pacers, which use Conseco Fieldhouse rent-free under a lease arrangement that makes the team responsible for the operating and maintenance expenses of the facility, but allows the team to pocket all revenues it generates from both game and non-game events.
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One Voice Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 10:04 AM
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1. Oh the tangled webs we weave,
when we practice to deceive.

Holy crap. :wtf:

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indypaul Donating Member (896 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 11:52 AM
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2. What more would you expect from an electorate
that just elected to office an overseer of elections who himself
is subject to an "investigation" for voter fraud? I'm very anxious
to see how the Governor and the Republican party squirm out from
under that one. Can hardly wait for the new Marion County Prosecutor
to take office and start looking over the shoulder of Mayor Ballard and
Ryan Vaughan with respect to some of their transactions.
Also, think it is about time we started hearing from the
newly installed U.S. Attorney with respect to the Duke Energy
and Utility Regulatory Commission fiasco. If there was ever a need
for a Grand Jury investigation that matter surely deserves one and
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democraticinsurgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 09:02 PM
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3. This state has become a cesspool
The amazing thing about Advance Indiana: it's really a Republican-Libertarian leaning blog. the author, Gary Welsh, does not usually have good things to say about Democrats.

But what impresses me so much is that he is tough on his own party. I hate to say it, but I haven't run across a Dem blogger in Indiana nearly as capable as he and fellow Repub/Lib blogger Paul Ogden are. If it weren't for them, many of these scandalous stories would be buried completely.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 07:58 PM
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4. Their goal isn't to help those who need it
but to enrich their already wealthy friends.

Think of how much $500 million could have helped the state's needy. Can you imagine the uproar if the recipients had cost taxpayers $500 million through fraud and corruption, but let a company do it and it's just business as usual.
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