Friday, August 29, 2014 2:49 PM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
Ind. - House Speaker Brian Bosma announced on Friday that he is
banishing State Rep. Eric Turner from House Republican leadership after
the Cicero lawmaker made more than $1 million on a nursing home deal and
his family, more than $1 billion. The unprecedented move in
modern Indiana General Assembly history came after a nurssing home
company owned by Turner’s family was told to an Ohio company for $2.3
billion. It came after the House Ethics Committee determined last spring
that Turner had not violated ethic standards.
“There is no more
important precept in a free democratic system than the expectation of
impartial decision making by elected policy makers,” Bosma said in a
surprising statement on Friday. “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.
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,” Bosma said. “Rep. Turner should
have recused himself entirely from influencing the matter in any way
given the personal financial stake involved. Calls for
resignation or removal at this point mean little, as the General
Assembly is officially adjourned until after the November election,”
Bosma said. “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."
Turner spokesman Roger Harvey said in a statement that the representative “not aware of strategic discussions involving Mainstreet Property Group until June of 2014.” That came after the legislative session ended.
Turner's Democratic challenger, Bob Ashley, told HPI he had sent a letter to Bosma two days ago asking him to reopen the ethics investigation after the Turner family business sale. "I'm the self-serving legislative candidate Bosma refers to," Ashley said.