Holcomb Statement on Cease and Desist Letters

(INDIANAPOLIS) — Governor Eric J. Holcomb offered the following statement after his General Counsel Joe Heerens sent the attached cease and desist letters to “Reveal” and the “Indianapolis Star.”

“While filing a cease and desist letter is an unusual step to take, I’m compelled to do so. I will not let the false accusations about Indiana state employees and me stand, as first published by California-based Reveal and followed soon thereafter by the Indianapolis Star. Unfortunately, other news organizations in our state have either published the same story in its entirety or other versions unchecked for truth and accuracy, further perpetuating a false narrative. 

“We have worked hard over the years in Indiana to create an environment for our citizens, state employees, and businesses based on accountability and fairness, where the rules are fairly applied to all based in truth.

“There are many good, tough, and thorough reporters in the Fourth Estate who seek to educate by way of the truth.  Unfortunately, when Reveal and the Indy Star worked in conjunction to publish a false story, it tarnishes journalistic integrity across the board and the public loses faith in where they get their news.”

Earlier story –

Indiana’s governor is facing calls from Democrats to explain his role in Amazon being cleared of responsibility for a warehouse worker’s death despite initial findings of major safety violations.

Gov. Eric Holcomb

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb denies any involvement in the state’s investigation of the 2017 death at Amazon’s Plainfield warehouse.

The news outlet Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting reported Monday that a safety inspector ordered a $28,000 fine against Amazon, concluding it didn’t provide enough training before a forklift fatally crushed 59-year-old Phillip Lee Terry. It cites a recording the inspector made in which his boss tells Amazon officials how to shift the blame to “employee misconduct.”

Phillip Lee Terry

The death investigation happened while the Holcomb administration was bidding on Amazon’s planned second headquarters project.

State Democratic Party Chairman John Zody says such actions would be a “disturbing abandonment” of workers.