Aug 29, 2014
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma announced this afternoon that State Rep. Eric Turner is losing his leadership due to an ethics scandal earlier this year.
Turner, who serves as Speaker Pro Tempore, the number two position in the House was accused of using his influence to kill a bill that would have put a moratorium on new nursing home in Indiana, even though he has a financial interest in one.
A bi-partisan ethics panel found no wrongdoing on Turner’s part, but it did say he should have fully disclosed his interests.
In a letter to the media the Speaker said the following…
“There is no more important precept in a free democratic system than the expectation of impartial decision making by elected policy makers. In a part-time legislature we each carry with us our own personal conflicts and influences and we must continually be on guard to set them aside, or recuse ourselves entirely from influencing that matter. Our greatest concern must be the confidence of the public in their elected officials.
“Given the recently disclosed magnitude of Rep. Turner’s personal and family financial interest in the outcome of the nursing home moratorium debate, any involvement in the decision-making process, whether in public debate or through private discussions with fellow elected officials, presented an irreconcilable conflict. Rep. Turner should have recused himself entirely from influencing the matter in any way given the personal financial stake involved. I have no doubt the House Ethics Committee review of this matter was thorough and resulted in the correct conclusion; however, it also revealed significant gaps which must be addressed. In consultation with our colleagues across the aisle and in the Senate, I intend to present a comprehensive ethics bill to address many of these issues during the 2015 session.
“Calls for resignation or removal at this point mean little, as the General Assembly is officially adjourned until after the November election. The public can rest assured that I made the decision many weeks ago that Rep. Turner will not be part of our leadership team come November. My greatest concern is restoring the confidence of the public in their elected officials.”