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Should He Stay or Should He Go?

I pose that question in conjunction with the latest news regarding Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

Brizzi, who has already ready come under fire for relationship with embattled financier Tim Durham and questions regarding his support for the early release a woman whose father donated to his campaign, now finds a new controversy at his doorstep.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reported this weekend that despite the objections of police and prosecutors, Brizzi allowed plea deal with a defendant whose attorney was his business partner that resulted in a reduced charges and the return of $10,000 in seized money.

In light of this news, Brizzi should give serious consideration to resigning.

I do not make this statement lightly.  I reached after spending the past few weeks speaking to a number of local party members, police and members of the legal community.  Each time the response came back with a phrase I can’t repeat here.

There’s only so much bad news a person can take.  Although the Durham stories were not flattering, you could argue they were still beyond Brizzi’s sphere of control.  You could even argue the donation critics say was made in connection with the early release was questionable, however when you raise $3 million it’s not impossible for something like that to happen and people should pay closer attention to campaign accounting.

This story on the other hand is all Brizzi’s.  The IBJ reviewed a number of e-mails between Brizzi business associate Paul J. Page.  The paper reported Page Brizzi a 50 percent stake an Elkhart office building worth $900,000 without Brizzi having to invest any cash or co-sign a loan.

Page also had a client who charged with dealing steroids and faced 10 years in prison.  Over the objections of deputy prosecutors and police Brizz’s office returned most of the confiscated cash and reduced the sentence.

The prosecutor’s office denies any quid pro quo.  However it really doesn’t matter at this point.   As I have said on this blog before, it’s not what it is, it’s what it looks like.  Had this story, or any of the other previous mentioned stories happened by themselves, it would be embarrassing, but the news cycle would eventually run its course.  However, when you pick up the paper or turn on the television and hear the prosecutor’s name and wonder what shoe is about to drop now, that’s when you have to say enough is enough.

Since I am not part of the conspiratorial echo chamber,  I am not willing to say Brizzi has done anything criminal.  I will say the steady stream of bad publicity can’t be good and after a while it truly becomes counterproductive and hampers your effectiveness.

Brizzi should seriously think about how effective he can be for the rest of his term.   This is unfortunate because he was a rising star who could have easily run for statewide office in a  few years.  It’s a story that’s almost Shakespearean in nature; however it’s a tragedy.

Unless Brizzi can do a major mea culpa and have a come to Jesus meeting with the voters, I really don’t see how he can salvage his reputation.  At best he can stop the hemorrhaging and the only way to do that is to call it a career.

  • Think Again

    Abdul, you're a lawyer. Has your research included questions to other prosecutors, or deputies, in or out of Marion County, like this:

    1. What is the standard for reducing felony drug charges?
    2. What is the standard for returning confiscated material/cash?
    3. What is the expected conduct for a large county-urban prosecutor, to personally involve him/herself in such a case? (in 20 to 30 small counties, elected prosecutors aren't fulltime and some have one or two part-time deputies…that standard could be different)

    Additionally, in regard to this specific case:

    1. Has Mr. Page asked for similar favors for other clients?
    2. Did Mr. Brizzi make written pleadings to the presiding judge, or were these deals off-paper?
    3. If written, aren't those pleadings part of public record?
    4. What is Mr. Brizzi's personal standard for involvement in any case? When does he shove aside a deputy and take over himself? Until now, I honestly thought the standard was the presence of TV cameras or the lack thereof.

    I don't know if he should resign. Honestly, his conduct in this case is puzzling. His conduct in the real estate deal is far more troubling, and he's opened a can of worms there.

    I'm just surprised that anyone else is surprised by this whole sordid affair. He's been a camera whore his entire career. Ask around…there hasn't ever been much respect in the legal community.

    I never thought I'd say this–ever–but Steve Goldsmith was a better prosecutor.

    Damn. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  • varangianguard

    No resignation!

    Why should Lake and Vigo counties have all of the “fun” (historically speaking)? (Apologies to other Indiana counties with similar amounts of “fun” that I am simply unfamiliar with).

    If, by some outside chance, this whole house of cards comes tumbling down, where would be the notoriety in not being an active Prosecutor? Stand fast in the face of unproven innuendo, sir! There is nothing to fear, except (maybe) the prospect of wearing one of those pesky ankle bracelets for a few years.

    For posterity's sake (his, sort of), and for the sheer entertainment potential (mine), stay and let the rumors be damned! Full deals ahead!

    Scadenfreude rules the world. Don't you let it (or me) down, Mr. Brizzi.

    This is NOT Mark Massa, and I seriously doubt he would “approve” of this message.

  • Mayor McCheese

    Not a bad piece “Abbie”. You are starting to see the light. :)

    As I said before, Brizzi absolutely does not resign. He has ZERO to gain by doing that. His campaign finance report is due Friday (as is everyone elses) and lets see how much of thaat 500k is left. My WAG is that about half of it has gone to legal fees. Carl's biggest threat is the Supreme Court Disciplinary actions he faces. Best case scenario is he loses his license to practice law. Worst case is a stupid public reprimand, which Carl will just smirk at and blow off. As he does everything. No one is going to hire him. I'm not even sure that Riley Bennett & Ballard law firm would rent him a desk and give him busy work (like they have for Massa).

    And speaking of Mark Massa and his “stay busy” um, job, at Riley Bennett & Ballard, where is his statement on Carl's activity? How do the voters know the difference between his potential term as MCPO and what Carl has done? What? He hasn't said anything? Probably becauase it will be FOUR MORE YEARS OF THE SAME SHENNANIGANS. I think the voters will see right through that.

    The Marion county GOP: Let's see how far we can push this pile of crap.

    Have a nice day and enjoy the spring storms!

  • ibviral


    What happens to the money in Brizzis war chest if he does step down?

    I am thinking that The Mayor could use some of that money as well as other Rebublican candidates.

  • pogden297

    I notice that in admitting some of us were right about Brizzi, Abdul still rollls out the “conspiracy” nonsense.

  • ibviral

    Paul, Abdul is obvisouly close to the situation. But “conspiracy” I dont understand. Brizzi is laughing at all of us at this very second. He and the leader of the MCRCC are gloating at the fact that there is nothing that any of us can do about this situation.

    We will be readingabout brizzi a year from now. Nothing willever happen. It runs way too deep. The 25th floor is way up there.

    God, I woud love to be a fly on the wall on the 25th floor today.

    I still ant to knw what Brizzi is doing wiht the $500,000 he has in his campaign fund. Can he use it for his defense fund or give it to another candidate?

  • Mayor McCheese

    He can do just about anything he wants. Did you not see his last Finance Report? it was a joke, but evidently the FEC says its OK to spend campaign cash onn Limos in Chicago, bar tabs all over Indy, and personal cell phone bills, cigars for, um, Xmas presents, checks to cronies for “legal and or campaign strategy advice” (see how much he gave his running buddy Mario), etc etc.

    Take a look:


    And that's where the Friday report will be as well.

  • If prosecturial misconduct is the issue then don't over worry about the Indiana SC. The Delaware County prosecutor is up to his neck in misconduct, for years, and the Indiana SC hasn't even managed a wrist slap…..although they did turn down a plea bargain of sorts.
    I don't think there are “standards” for prosecutorial discretion and I'm not sure that if there were any that they would be better than the current morass.

  • wilson46201

    Bye bye Bri$$i

  • http://twitter.com/IndyStudent Matthew Stone

    My opinion is the same whenever a politician is caught in any sort of scandal. You were hired by the public to do a job. When you spend a large chunk of time defending your actions related to the job or outside of the job, it's time for you to resign. If a politician is guilty or not, that is for a court to decide. But I don't care if it's a conflict of interest issue such as Brizzi's, or sexual scandals that several politicians have gotten themselves into. If you are too busy to do your job because you are defending your decisions, in court/talking with lawyers about your decisions, or are repairing damage done to your family or whatever, you need to resign, and do whatever it is you need to do. Come back to us when you're ready to serve and have your act together, and we might consider it.

    Abdul comes up with a good, almost objective reason Brizzi should resign. When the average citizen here's his name on the news, they probably think they'll hear about another scandal.

    Now, here's my prediction: Unless Brizzi pulls out some AMAZING defense with a lot of evidence on his side, or he resigns immediately and the GOP distances themselves greatly, then the Dems will win the Prosecutor's race. Short of a huge scandal, Brizzi has basically handed them the office.

    And another prediction: Brizzi may be able to pull these strings and get away with a lot while in the public sector. But I have a feeling that the private sector, even those he's friends with, will be VERY cautious about hiring him in any legal capacity.

  • Mayor McCheese

    Looks like Massa reads your blog.

  • IndyErnie

    I will be amazed if Brizzi were proven to have done anything corrupt or unlawful. I do believe that he has used poor judgment. I‘m thinking this whole mess could be more of a mid-life crisis rather an attempt at corruption.
    I agree with Abdul, Carl had a Gold Ticket to whatever office he desired…it’s too bad that he didn’t see it.
    Would the MC-GOP would be better off if Carl quietly retired?..maybe.

  • guest

    This is weeks old news. IBJ beat you to the punch on the story of your good friend. Nice try. At least Massa is asking Brizzi to step down.

  • IndyErnie

    Hellooooooooooo Massa!!!!

  • melyssa

    I heard him brag on his WIBC radio show lately that even when he's not prosecutor he will fight the righteous fight to make sure criminals complete their prison sentences and don't get out early. It was eerie because he said this AFTER the news came out of Paula Willoughby's early release approved by his office after his campaign received $20,000 in the last crucial days before the election against Melina.

    It's as if he doesn't think the rules apply to him or something. He exhibits characteristics of text book sociopathic behavior. Don't believe me? Look up the traits of the sociopath.

  • melyssa

    That was funny, TA. I couldn't stand Goldsmith either.

  • ibviral

    If Brizzi does resign the Republicans may have a chance in November. If he does not, the Democrats will sweep the election. They will tie every candidate to Brizzi and Tom John.

    Brizzi, Plowman, Houchens,Durham,Bales,Page,Motsinger,….on and on and on

  • lawrenceofarabia

    Don't forget about fishburn…

  • Hector

    I hope Brizzi stays but at this point it doesn't matter. He has smudged the office with so much sleaze that no republican could win the prosecutor's office this next election. My understanding is that we have only heard the tip of the iceberg about the going ons in that office. Bring the rest of the sleaze out into the public.

  • Name


    I am surprised you are calling for Brizzi's resignation, but relieved you are finally willing to put your personal adoration of Carl aside to speak the truth. Carl should quit. Now.

    But, he won't. Why would he? He can plow along for 7 3/4 months and collect a nice pension. Even if he were charged, he would not be convicted in that time frame so he qualifies for the pension. And, with the income coming from the Elkhart deal, which by the way was an $825k building (see link) that he is receiving approximately $280k a year on a triple net lease (that is where the tenant pays 100% of maintenance, taxes, you name it)–a 30%+ return, in this economy, and in Elkhart!– he has it made. Don't forget all that moolah $$$ he made on Cellstar and the other real estate deals he scored along the way with his importantly, connected job as Prosecutor. And, of course the rumored DUI overturning of the golfcart, the rumored drunk crash of the Durham Viper he allegedly crashed and borrowed that was allegedly towed over to the garage at 117 N East Street….he didn't get spanked for any of that!

    Not bad for a guy who was getting sued in 2004 for not paying his kids gymnastics bills at Carmel Gymnastics.

    You have to hand it to the brood in Indy. White Collar Crime DOES pay.

    Carl's timely purchase of an Elkhart building just in time to ink a 10 year lease with Child Care Services!

    1659 Mishawaka St., Elkhart, $825,000, Abnikcar LLC; sold to L&BAB LLC, April 18.

  • joneaster

    I hope he doesn't resign. He's great blog post material!!

  • Rico

    What an investment Carl has been. The GOP put every dime possible into the Brizzi campaign and it's the only race they one that year. If even a fraction of that money had been spent on the Dickerson campaign, we wouldn't be stuck with another loser named Carson..

    I'd be ecstatic if Murray and John would resign. They're both worthless too.

  • melyssa

    And RICO, gotta wonder why the corrupt GOP put it's horses behind Brizzi and not Dickerson.

    I heard that they went to Dickerson and asked him to “play ball”. Dickerson said he wouldn't. They said no money.

    Excellent point you made there, btw. I forgot for a minute about how they treated Dickerson compared to Brizzi.

    That Eric Dickerson is a class act.

  • pogden297

    Under what scenario is taking getting a share on a million dollar commercial office building with a defense attorney when you haven't put down a dime for the investment an “okay” or sort of thing?

    The facts of what Brizzi did are not really disputed. If it were a Democrat you'd be all over it. But once again, because it's a Republican involved you want to hand out a pass.

  • wilson46201

    Brose McVey spent a million dollars against Congresslady Julia Carson in 2002. That pile of cash earned McVey about as many votes as Dickerson got with his $57,000 expenditure. Jon Elrod spent $192,000 against André Carson and got the same percentage of votes as McVey, Horning or Dickerson.

    The GOP bigwigs were wise in allocating scarce resources to Brizzi four years ago — it's certainly paid off for them and their contributors !

  • Rico

    Eric ran against the slate and got dumped on. Only after the polls showed a close race a few days before the election was any money offered at all by the GOP–and that was to reimburse us for e few radio spots we did. Incidentally, 90 Republican-leaning precincts' votes came up 'missing' the night of the election. John made a deal to allow half to go to Dickerson and half to Carson, as long as Elrod could win the seat. And we all know how that turned out. That race was closer than many of us will ever know.

  • wilson46201

    Votes in 90 Republican-leaning precincts came up missing? How could this be engineered? Where did the numbers disappear at? Both Republican and Democratic pollworkers retain copies of the official results in a precinct. How did ALL copies of election results magically and mysteriously disappear?

    How come it's only the various voices in Rico's head that know about this amazing feat of massive election fraud?

  • IndyErnie

    Paul I don't know the facts on the real estate deal and neither do you. Maybe one partner had the down payment but needed help with the financing. Who knows? But unlike you, I won't jump to conclusions without knowing the facts.
    I do agree with Massa and Tom John. The party will be better off if Carl resigns but …that doesn't mean I’m convinced he has done anything unlawful.

  • Guest

    How effective he can be for the rest of his term?!?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!? Your assuming he was effective at all. You need to remember, Brizzi is an intellectual/legal lightweight with barely 3 years of actual criminal law experience. His ego made him run for prosecutor and his ego has led to his downfall. He has been effective at making the Marion County Prosecutors Office the biggest joke in the Midwest.

  • pascal

    Wilson10,000 jobs is still posting? Zero cred is still zero cred!

  • Hector

    Rico, back on your meds….those conspiracy theories are cropping up again….this is the lamest line of crap and an insult to the Dems and Repubs that an inane deal like that would be made. Worst of all, it is an slap in the face to all of the men and women who work many long long hours on election day for very little pay so that fools like you can make ignorant claims of missing precincts and back room deals.

  • gh

    Hey, asshole, it happened. I know somebody who was at the meeting. Under oath, John would be forced to admit to it.
    Do I have any answers as to why the votes were missing? No. They didn't either. Any district (the 7th) where the Ghetto Mafia is allowed to run things for so long, and where Tom John is a part of the mix, is bound to be diseased with corruption.

    What's laughable is the fact that it's so easily believed by you and others that Julia, at the last minute, mysteriosly came up with an enormous number of Center Township votes to seal the deal, as she did (coincidentally) each election.

    Idiots like you, Hector, deserve to be slapped in the face with reality. I'm sorry that you and Wilson hold the late Slumlord Queen in such high regard as a (former) voice of the people. Perhaps that's part of the problem. We've set such a low bar for what we expect of our elected representatives that we don't care what their doing on our behalf. A bucket of sand should have beat Carson in 2006. Corruption and profound ignorance got Julia re-elected. I'm guessin' you're okay with that.

  • Rico

    That was a Rico post. And 'their' should have been 'they're'. Good night.

  • wilson46201

    …and in 2008 Congressman André Carson was re-elected with over 65% of the vote in the 7th C.D. Explain that away with some more of your weird paranoid-fantasy secret meetings !

  • NCT


    In 2006 Tom John wasn't the county party chairman Mike Murphy was. So either you're wrong about it being Tom or you don't know what you're talking about. I'm guessing the later. Why is always “I knew a guy who was there” why isn't your guy going to the Feds, Newspaper, TV or even the RNC. I don't think the Rebublican National Comittee would be very happy with a trade like that? Dickerson lost because a police report showed up that alleged domestic violence. His response was bad and that was it.

  • melyssa

    Was there voter ID law in that election? I wonder how many dead people rose from their graves to vote that year.

  • melyssa

    Pascal…that is 11,000 jobs according to the Andre Carson press release. Maybe we should start the Andre Lies campaign. After all it seems apparent now that he did lie about the N-word in a very lame attempt to stir up racial hostility where none exists as well as the non-existent 11,000 jobs his stimulus money is supposed to bring to us.

  • melyssa

    And Wilson, my dear dumpster boy…you never did comment about THIS black man who was called the N-word and subsequently beaten and sent to the hospital? Any comment of racism outrage for THIS black man? Here's the video proof:


    I'm still looking for proof that the patriots are racist. Got any? I will condemn it if you can show me the proof. So far, all I've seen is proof that the liberals are playing the race card and beating up this black conservative for not being in his necessary place for your party to pull off the hijacking of America.

  • Fed up

    Rico is absolutely right!

    The deal was brokered with both the dems and republicans leaders. Those appointed to the election board were ordered to sacrifice Eric Dickerson for Jon Elrod. The 90 republican leaning precints were put in storage, uncounted. I was advised confidentially by a democrat attorney on the election board who participated and who secretly depised the uneducated, drunkard Julia Carson, like many others, and wanted Eric Dickerson to win. He hated it and admitted to me that it stunk to high heaven, but he'd be destroyed if he told…and that since both parties were participating in the scandal no one would be at the table to fight.

    Also, Brizzi went into the prosecutors OLD dead files and pulled the Eric Dickerson arrest and arranged to have it personally delivered to the Carson campaign in an attempt to destroy his campaign; in return for the above pre-planned scandal. The fix was in from the beginning.

    We knew Brizzi was crooked after we met with him and Jennifer Hollowell at the Republican Headquarters and we wanted nothing to do with their corruption. In the end, we are still successfull, indictment free, have futures and can walk into the city-county building with our heads held up high. Eric is doing very well in corporate America in a high level management position. Look at the golden-boy Brizzi now…

    The laugh is on Brizzi now, may he sleep in a jail cell with bubba, along with Jennifer Hollowell, for destroying Eric Dickersons life for a brief minute…raoflmao

    So, this is why I'm convinced that Indianapolis is hopelessly lost until the Department of Justice comes in to monitor the elections in the same fashion they were monitored them in the 60's. My suggestion? Get the hell out of that hell hole called Indianapolis and let the crooked republicans and democrats tax to death the welfare folks and ministers who pay no taxes but suck up all the federal grant dollars earmarked to fight crime.

    Finally, Ballard and John Cochran are just as dirty as Brizzi and Tom John…Follow the paper trails, don't forget about money manager Winnie Ballard (-; and their adult children.

  • Hector

    I think recent arrests and video clips show on main stream media show clearly that racism is rampant in the teaparty/patriot movement. It is also apparent from local actions of the GOP that racism is alive in Indianapolis. There is no need to show you the proof and attempt to explain it to you, melyssa, as you will continue to deny it even with solid proof.

  • Think Again

    Ernie, I'm in the RE financing business. This is not only highly unusual, but you don't understand the basic mechanics. Today's commercial deals get more scrutiny than ever before, by all lenders. Silent partners and cushy deals are avoided like the plague. Banks don't want anything to do with that nonsense. It's just not done that way any more.
    Any public official should walk gingerly around no-money-down commercial real estate deals. A prosecutor or judge is in the rare and lofty position of putting someone in jail for fraud. They, more than any other office holder, cannot get involved in shady deals.
    Did he think this wouldn't become public somehow? It reeks of a stunning lack of knowledge of securities, real estate and contract law. Stupidly so. He's become toxic, by his own had, and yeah, he's drastically reduced future employment opportunities. Not many employers want this kind of bas judgment around them.
    Criminal activity? Probably. Hard to prove? Yeah, Stupid? Amazingly so…like a lawyer who graduated near the bottom of his class and spent his entire law school life playing around, barely passing.

  • wilson46201

    Fantasies explaining away Eric Dickerson's skunking by 90 missing precincts sound like sour grapes from Darla Williams and Bob Croddy. Improbable and impossible fables soothe the wounded egos of such losers…

  • Fed up

    Death is soooo wonderful. lol

  • melyssa

    Please show me the proof of racism. I comb news articles every day looking for it, for I will condemn it if I see it.

    Political free speech against the black President's policies that are destroying our Republic do not count as racism as much as folks like Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews would like for it to.

  • melyssa

    And Hector I think the You Tube clip of the black conservative being thoroughly beaten by angry white union thugs right after being called the n-word is the nastiest proof of racism I've seen in politics today.

  • pascal

    Wilson11,000 dodging again, hoping no one will notice that he is the fool. Zero cred is zero cred and it does look like Andre was and is a liar and stupid to boot. With genocide of the whites in South Africa the N word is losing any value sorta like the lad who cried wolf too often. If the SC says that you can discriminate on the basis of race then one can't be surprised that the door is now open to do just that.

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