Maybe I’m missing something here.
Maybe Indiana law is structured so that glaring conflict of interest is well within the bounds of legality.
Or maybe Brian Bosma, Indiana’s Speaker of the House for the GOP majority, is just this brazen.
The Indiana-based law firm Kroger, Gardis & Regas, LLP has the following paragraph on its home page:
At Kroger, Gardis & Regas, LLP, we represent numerous governmental entities throughout the State of Indiana, including cities, counties, townships, special service districts, and municipalities. Our municipal law attorneys serve as counsel to local Boards and Commissions, and offer frequent lectures on municipal law to assist government officials, decision makers and employees.
Our municipal law team is led by the current Indiana Speaker of the House, Brian Bosma. Representative Bosma serves as general counsel to numerous political subdivisions and inter-local boards, and advises local fire and police chiefs, mayors, trustees, legislative bodies, and governmental boards throughout Indiana.
Wait…WHAT!? The most influential Republican in the House, arguably the most influential in the legislature, “serves as general counsel to numerous political subdivisions?” He advises fire and police chiefs and “governmental boards throughout Indiana”!? Is that really okay?
It seems odd enough that a law firm would advertise their go-to guy for wrangling municipal cases as the man charged with overseeing the House. But a man is nothing without a mission. The Kroger, Gardis & Regas, LLP homepage also lists the kind of cases Bosma and co. are interested in:
Labor and Employment (such as hiring, disciplining, and terminating public employees, contract negotiation, contract disputes, contract administration, employee civil right claims, public safety, wage and hour laws, and Fair Labor Standards Act)
Terminating. Public. Employees. TERMINATING PUBLIC EMPLOYEES!? Give me a second, I’ve got to grab my ALEC shammy so I can clean my laptop monitor. I’m not sure I’m reading this right. Isn’t “hiring, disciplining, and terminating public employees” union-busting? Isn’t mediation of “employee civil right claims” and “contract disputes” by the House Speaker for a private firm a little bit of an issue?
No, no…it can’t be. Kroger, Gardis & Regas (..and Bosma) wouldn’t possibly dabble in legal cases that undermine the public interest. Let’s give them a chance. Let’s look at the other fields they specialize in:
Municipal Litigation Issues (such as Voting Right Act issues, zoning and real estate disputes, inverse condemnation hearings, eminent domain actions, labor and employment disputes, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims, whistleblower, discrimination claims, and Equal Protection Act violations)
Government Reorganization (such as the creation and administration of fire territories, fire districts, agreements for interlocal cooperation, municipal mergers and dissolutions)
Election Law and Reappointment (such as Voting Rights Act and redistricting cases, recounts, election disputes and the creation of districts for elected bodies)
Redistricting!? Government reorganization!?! RECOUNTS!? Holy mackerel! This firm does it all, I tell you! And by “all” I mean “all the things you wouldn’t want the head of the House involved in whatsoever.”
Good thing there hasn’t been a recall election in Indiana, ’cause I have a sneaking suspicion I know who the target would hire. Heck, Indiana doesn’t need an emergency financial manager system like their neighbors in Michigan, they’ve got Kroger, Gardis & Regas (…and Bosma) to handle all of their contract dissolving, municipal mergers and discrimination disappearances. They’re on the case and off the record. They’re in-house and out-of-mind. And I think I’m going out of mine.
This reeks. Why don’t you just Terre Haute our hearts, Indiana…