Hogsett Announces Formation of Federal-State Public Corruption Working Group
U.S. Attorney’s Office and Working Group to Aggressively Investigate, Prosecute Corruption Cases
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 23, 2012|
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, joined by law enforcement partners, announced this afternoon the formation of a Public Corruption Working Group. Charged with identifying and investigating criminal violations of the public’s trust, the Working Group comes at a time when the U.S. Attorney’s Office has pledged to make public corruption one of its top prosecution priorities.
“Today, I am proud to announce the formation of our Public Corruption Working Group,” Hogsett said. “This coordinated effort is historic, in terms of both the number of law enforcement agencies involved and as to the singular focus on such an important issue—the integrity of our public offices and officeholders.”
Working Group members include officers and agents from the following federal and state law enforcement agencies: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Indiana State Police, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Postal Service-OIG, Department of Transportation, and U.S. Secret Service.
“Our message has been consistent but bears repeating: it doesn’t matter what your politics are or who you know,” Hogsett noted. “If you violate the public trust, this working group will find you, will investigate you, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will then prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
In late 2011, Hogsett announced an expanded focus on issues of government corruption and public integrity. In the last six months, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has concluded the prosecution of one Indianapolis City-County Councilor who was found guilty of soliciting a bribe and has begun the prosecution of another on charges of fraud. The office also recently prosecuted an elected official in Jackson County who defrauded the taxpayers of more than $300,000.
The working group consists of representatives from federal and state law enforcement agencies and will meet regularly to share information regarding public corruption investigations. This unique collaborative environment will allow for greater cooperation between agencies and is designed to facilitate faster, more effective investigations into any allegation of public corruption.
“Law enforcement works best when it works together,” said Major Ron Shoemaker of the Indiana State Police. “We’re pleased to be a part of this innovative new strategy and look forward to working with our federal partners.”
Prosecutions generated by the working group will be spearheaded by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Senior Litigation Counsel, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley A. Blackington, and Sharon M. Jackson, who together are among the most experienced trial attorneys within the office.
Hogsett acknowledged the critical role that whistleblowers often play in prosecutions of public corruption. He urged anyone with information relating to criminal activity to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office public corruption hotline at (317) 229-2443.
“Very often, public corruption prosecutions can be traced back to one anonymous tip,” Hogsett added. “We encourage anyone with knowledge of such behavior to contact the working group through this hotline.”