Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Tuesday, April 24, 2012
(INDIANAPOLIS) - Federal and state officials announced a new initiative Monday to quickly cross agency lines in the interest of investigating and prosecuting public corruption.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett touted the formation of the Public Corruption Working Group "at a time when the U.S. attorney's office ... pledged to make public corruption one of its top prosecution priorities."
The consortium will be "charged with identifying and investigating criminal violations of the public's trust," Hogsett said in a news release.
Federal and state partners, including the FBI, 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, Department of Transportation and U.S. Secret Service are among the many agencies that have pledged to cut through the red tape of bureaucracy and work together to solve corruption cases.
"If you violate the public trust, this working group will find you, will investigate you," Hogsett said.
During an investigation that requires cooperation between agencies, officials said response time is often bogged down for days by the processes of filling out paperwork and awaiting approval.
Tim Horty, of the U.S. attorney's office, said the initiative clears the way for investigators to be "on the bench" and ready to go when needed.
While the formation of the task force has been in the works for several months, recent developments in the case involving suspended Indianapolis police Officer David Bisard helped kick the effort into high gear, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.
Had it been in place, the task force would have been involved in some recent high-profile investigations, including those of former City-County Councilors Lincoln Plowman and Paul Bateman, and the investigation of financier Tim Durham.
Hogsett asked anyone with information about public corruption to call 317-229-2443.
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