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ICJI Meeting Update: Board Of Trustees Votes To Fire Bolejack, Gullans

Kategullans_1In the essence of visual fairness, we post an admittedly non-controversial photo of Kate Gullans, who was the deputy director of programs at ICJI.

And here's the update from the Associated Press about the public meeting of the Board of Trustees meeting that concluded not long ago:

"A state board fired two Daniels administration officials on Friday after the governor said an ethics investigation found funding irregularities including a family friend receiving a grant without proper approval.

"The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, in a pair of 10-1 votes, dismissed both Executive Director Heather Bolejack and Deputy Director Katalina Gullans.

"The votes came hours after Gov. Mitch Daniels said that he recommended the firings.

"Daniels made the decision Thursday after being briefed by Inspector General David Thomas on his ethics investigation. Besides the grant, the inspector general found irregularities in the way travel expenses were reimbursed."

More On McKenna: Check Out S.K.I.P. Before The Website Skips Town

ClicketySomeone asked us to post this, so here's a link to the website for Michael McKenna's organization. Also, we found it interesting that he received this contract in November 2005, but according to the Secretary of State's website, he didn't even incorporate S.K.I.P. until March 2006.

TDW EXCLUSIVE: Something To Celebrate? Bolejack, Smith, McKenna Out On Town

In what can only be described as an incredibly bizarre move, look who was out partying last night with her husband and the man who got the $417,000 contract from her agency. Hat tip to the field correspondent who checks the INtake Party Crasher photos and caught this gem, which was taken at the Sushi on the Rocks opening.

Caption: "Corey Smith, 35, of Indy, Heather Bolejack, 31, of Indy, and Michael McKenna, 36, from Greenwood."


Better Get That Money Back: Bolejack Reimbursed By State For Ethics Training?

Questionguy_1Does anyone else think this paragraph (emphasis added) from the Star update on the ICJI situation is just a wee bit ironic?

"In addition to her salary, Bolejack received $3,369 in reimbursements for travel expenses to regional and national conferences in Washington, Boston, Minneapolis and Hawaii, on topics such as methamphetamine and grants management, according to records from the state auditor's office. She also received a $100 reimbursement for ethics training."

Personally, we just hope they took the framed photo of the Guv with his arm around Heather out of the ICJI lobby this morning.

All ICJI, All The Time: WISH-TV Investigation Now Posted On Their Website

Wishtv_3If you'd like to watch the WISH-TV investigation that aired last night about Michael McKenna and his seemingly invisible non-profit, which received a $417,000 grant from ICJI, follow this link and clickety on the video.

We're not sure which is worse: FSSA's Dick Rhoad taking an extra $80,000 from an agency that largely serves underprivileged Hoosiers or this joker collecting $80,000 for services he apparently never rendered from an agency that champions juvenile justice, traffic safety, drug education and the rights of victims of violent and sexual crimes.

At least Rhoad did the work.

BREAKING NEWS: Guv Will Request Termination of Bolejack, Gullans

The Guv's Office just put out a release that he will call for the termination of Indiana Criminal Justice Institute executive director Heather Bolejack and deputy director of programs Kate Gullans at a board meeting this afternoon.

Here's the release. We'll post more when we have more:

"Governor recommends termination of Criminal Justice Institute executive director

"INDIANAPOLIS (May 12, 2006) – Governor Mitch Daniels is recommending today that the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) Board of Trustees terminate the Institute’s executive director, Heather Bolejack, and a deputy director, Katalina Gullans. The recommendation is based on findings of an ongoing Inspector General (IG) investigation. Upon completion, Daniels also has authorized the IG to submit his report to state and federal prosecutors for further review.

"The Governor placed Bolejack on administrative leave April 25, upon the IG’s recommendation pending completion of a review.

"According to the IG, the office initiated an investigation on February 3 after receiving a tip from a whistleblower. The investigation involves irregular travel expense reimbursements and the award of a grant to a Bolejack family friend without disclosure to or approval by the ICJI Board.

"'The Inspector General briefed the governor Thursday afternoon, and the governor immediately recommended these terminations. At a minimum, evidence suggests unacceptable misconduct and poor judgment. Whether any actions are more serious is a matter for prosecutors to decide,' said Mark Massa, the governor’s general counsel. 'The governor demanded tougher ethics rules and an Inspector General to police them precisely to make sure situations like this are dealt with promptly and forcefully.'

"By state law, the ICJI Board employs an executive director nominated by the governor. The board ratified Bolejack’s appointment in April 2005.

"Jon von Arx, the chairman of the Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana, and Jason Barclay, special counsel to the governor for public safety and chairman of the board of trustees of the Criminal Justice Institute, will continue to oversee the daily operations of the Institute.

"Since its creation in 2005, the Inspector General has made 42 referrals to prosecutors and achieved over $4 million in savings. In 2005, the IG issued more than 500 ethics advisory opinions.

"Office of the Governor media contact: Jane Jankowski, 317/232-1622, jjankowski@gov.in.gov"

What's In A Name? Abdul Has More Insider Info Coming Out Of ICJI In His Show Notes

Corruption_1WISH-TV broke the contract story (still no link available from their site), but Abdul is naming the names he's hearing of potentially troubled ICJI employees over on his show notes page:

"Although nothing will occur officially until 4 p.m. Friday, my sources tell me to keep an eye on at least  three Indiana Criminal Justice Institute employees. Director Heather Bolejack, Deputy Director Kate Gullans and Chief Counsel Sylvia Muller are all worth watching.  As I posted earlier today the Institute’s Board of Trustees have an Executive Session meeting at 2 p.m. on 'personnel' issues and a full public meeting at 4 p.m.  Bolejack is already on administrative leave, with pay, while the state’s Inspector General conducts its investigation into alleged no-bid contracts, travel voucher issues and the issuance of thousands in grants to local organizations with no appropriation.  Stay tuned."

2005 Child Abuse And Neglect Death Toll Unchanged, But State Still Blaming Others

Fssa_2This is not good. Specifically, the number is not good. And the fact that they're still trying to blame the old system is really not good. How much time does the "new crew" need before they start taking responsibility? These are kids we're talking about, not surplus vehicles or rocking chairs:

"Fifty-seven children in Indiana died as result of abuse and neglect during a yearlong period, according to a new report by the Department of Child Services. That toll is unchanged from the previous year.

"Abuse deaths increased from 22 to 26 over the previous yearlong period, while neglect deaths declined from 35 to 31.

"'The number is still in the 50s, and that is something we are working to change,' department spokeswoman Susan Tielking said. 'But it is going to take time.'

"The deaths took place from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005, before significant changes were made to try to improve the agency.

"On July 1, 2005, the new Department of Child Services took over child protection duties from the Family and Social Services Administration. Since then, the agency has hired more than 100 new caseworkers and expanded training and education requirements.

"The agency's 2006 fatality report will be the first to reveal whether those changes are making a difference in the lives of vulnerable Hoosier children."

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