STATEWIDE — Millions and millions of state dollars are on the line in a new lawsuit against Indiana’s treasurer.
Jim Holden, former Chief Deputy and General Counsel in the Office of the State Treasurer, opened a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit against State Treasurer Republican Kelly Mitchell.
The lawsuit claims from 2015 to 2020, Mitchell did not send state contracts through the strict approval process state law requires. Instead, she’s accused of signing the contracts and sending anywhere from 6-million to 12-million dollars to political supporters, campaign donors, and even people who sent her personal gifts since she took office in 2014. Money from state contracts is supposed to be invested into state funds.
The illegal contract signing was first mentioned during a February 26th, 2016, video-taped deposition in an unrelated case. It was in that video where Mitchell admitted to not following state procurement law.
The lawsuit claims Treasurer Mitchell has signed the following contracts since 2015, in violation of Indiana law:
- Ice Miller (Lobbying Contract) — $168,377 illegally paid between 2015-2019
- Old National Bank: $131,941 illegally paid between 2018-2019
- BMO Harris Bank Banking Services: $334,150 illegally paid between 2017-2019
- Fifth Third Bank Banking Services: $228,704 illegally paid between 2017-2019
- JP Morgan Chase Bank Banking Services: $535,061 illegally paid between 2014-2020
- PNC Bank: $1,096,104 illegally paid between 2018-2019
- Bank of New York Mellon: $271,555 illegally paid between 2017-2019
- Wells Fargo: $885,816 illegally paid between 2015-2019
- Huntington Bank: $771,777 illegally paid between 2015-2019
- Public Trust Advisors: $2,141,476 illegally paid between 2018-2019
Indianapolis attorney Chris Wolcott, who represents the plaintiffs in this case, released this statement:
“The fact that Treasurer Mitchell has spent the last six years in office handing out illegal contracts to her political supporters should be troubling to every taxpayer in the State. State law is very clear that these contracts are void and this money must be repaid immediately. We plan to move quickly to recover these funds for the State.”