(UNDATED) - The head of the Ten Point Coalition believes an investigation of one of its employees is motivated by politics.
On Tuesday, police searched the home of Byron Alston, an ex-con who now a street outreach worker with the nonprofit anti-crime group. Police took possession of a computer that contained information on Save The Youth, a group that used to be run by Alston but that is now defunct. But the head of the Ten Point Coalition believes something else is at work based on what Alston told him were questions asked by investigators. "He was asked if he was aware of any large sums of money given to Ten Point by any Republican," said Rev. Charles Harrison. "Then he was asked if Rev. Harrison had ever given him any cash money, and whether he was aware of our organization at any point being extorted by anybody."
Harrison says that tells him the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, led by Democratic prosecutor Terry Curry, apparently has a political problem with Ten Point. "It seemed to be implying that somehow, Ten Point was receiving monies from Republicans in an illegal way," Harrison said.
Harrison says his coalition and Curry have never had a good relationship - he claims Curry let it be known shortly after his election that he had issues with some of the coalition's members. But Curry says this investigation has nothing to do with politics. "We are offended by the suggestion of the mayor's office that this investigation is politically motivated," said Curry in an email. "It is an insult to not only the integrity of the Marion County Prosecutor's Office but to our law enforcement partners." Curry would not talk about the reason for the search warrant for Alston's home.
Harrison has said in the past that members of both political parties on the City-County Council have been critical of Ten Point, which is made up mostly of black ministers. In a WIBC interview earlier this year, Harrison told me some Republicans on the council wanted to cut funding to the coalition because "too much of the money was going to black preachers." He says council Democrats don't trust Ten Point because it has stated it supports a Republican mayor's crime policies. "Even though many of our members are Democrats, we have really been attacked in our community by many leaders in the Democratic party."
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