City of Indianapolis fires two employees involved in Land Bank scandal
The City of Indianapolis has fired two employees facing a federal indictment over the Indy Land Bank scandal.
In a press release Friday, the city said it terminated Reggie Walton and John Hawkins.
Reggie Walton headed up the Indy Land Bank and John Hawkins was a senior project manager. Both are accused of taking kickbacks and bribes for bypassing rules.
"While a federal court will ultimately decide if these two young men broke the law, the evidence presented in the indictment clearly indicates they violated the City's ethics ordinance and failed to uphold the standards our city expects from its public servants," said Mayor Greg Ballard.
The city also says it has hired an attorney to coordinate with federal officials and review policy. Forrest Bowman, Jr., who has worked with three governors - include former Gov. Evan Bayh's administration - will liaise with federal investigators and conduct a review of city policies to establish best practices.
"I want the people of the City of Indianapolis to know that I continue to take the allegations against two former employees of the city very seriously," said Mayor Ballard. "Immediately after learning of the nature of the allegations, our team began conducting an internal review which when completed will be provided to the federal authorities."
Walton and Hawkins were suspended without pay once Tuesday's indictments were unsealed.
The Department of Metropolitan Development suspended all property transfers from the Land Bank while it reviewed recent and in-progress transactions. The Department will continue providing maintenance to the 1,200 properties currently in possession of the Land Bank.