(NOBLESVILLE, Ind.) – A week after Carmel’s election for mayor, the Hamilton County Election Board has tossed out a claim of bribery.
The race took on an ugly tone it never relinquished after Hamilton County Councilman Fred Glynn accused Mayor Jim Brainard of offering him $140,000 to quit the race. Brainard beat Glynn in last week’s Republican primary by 12 percentage points, but Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Joe Weingarten asked the election board to either turn the accusations over to the county prosecutor or conduct its own investigation.
Glynn didn’t appear at an election board hearing, but attorneys for Hamilton County Republican Chair Laura Campbell, Brainard’s campaign manager, and a Glynn campaign adviser who jumped to Brainard’s campaign submitted sworn statements denying Glynn’s claim of bribery. a characterization even Democrats conceded was a gross exaggeration. Campbell says Brainard’s campaign dangled the possibility of donating to a future Glynn campaign if he’d abandon this one. She says no amount was proposed — the $140,000 figure was the total balance in Brainard’s campaign war chest at the time.
Campbell’s attorney David Brooks says a powwow to seek party unity and find the best candidate to put on the ballot is common practice and not inappropriate, let alone illegal. Even if there were legal concerns, he argues it wouldn’t matter since neither Brainard nor Glynn was part of the meeting, and the potential deal fell through anyway.
Brooks calls Glynn’s charges “reckless” and “irresponsible,” and says the councilman should apologize for embarrassing the city.
The election board dismissed Weingarten’s complaint on a 2-1 party-line vote. Greg Purvis, the board’s lone Democrat, acknowledges Glynn’s accusations “may be a nothingburger,” but argues they raised enough questions to demand a full investigation to find out.
Brainard is unopposed in the November election.
Carmel City Hall (Photo: Alexey Stiop/Thinkstock)