Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-88) says he will present an ethics bill designed to address “significant gaps” in issues where legislators have a personal stake. The decision relates to an ethics investigation into Representative Eric Turner's (R-32) role in ending a proposed moratorium on nursing home construction. Turner is part owner of Carmel-based senior care developer Mainstreet. A committee found no wrong-doing on Turner's part, but Bosma says Turner will not return in November as House Speaker Pro-tempore. Bosma says the decision was made “many weeks ago.”
August 29, 2014
Speaker Bosma statement regarding Representative P. Eric Turner (R-32)
STATEHOUSE – “There is no more important precept in a free democratic system than the expectation of impartial decision making by elected policy makers. In a part-time legislature we each carry with us our own personal conflicts and influences and we must continually be on guard to set them aside, or recuse ourselves entirely from influencing that matter. Our greatest concern must be the confidence of the public in their elected officials.
“Given the recently disclosed magnitude of Rep. Turner's personal and family financial interest in the outcome of the nursing home moratorium debate, any involvement in the decision-making process, whether in public debate or through private discussions with fellow elected officials, presented an irreconcilable conflict. Rep. Turner should have recused himself entirely from influencing the matter in any way given the personal financial stake involved. I have no doubt the House Ethics Committee review of this matter was thorough and resulted in the correct conclusion; however, it also revealed significant gaps which must be addressed. In consultation with our colleagues across the aisle and in the Senate, I intend to present a comprehensive ethics bill to address many of these issues during the 2015 session.
“Calls for resignation or removal at this point mean little, as the General Assembly is officially adjourned until after the November election. The public can rest assured that I made the decision many weeks ago that Rep. Turner will not be part of our leadership team come November. My greatest concern is restoring the confidence of the public in their elected officials.”
Source: Indiana House Republicans
August 29, 2014
Statement from State Representative Eric Turner
“During my six years, it has been my honor to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore under Speaker Brian Bosma. I have remained committed to serving the Speaker, our Caucus, and the Indiana House with the highest integrity. I serve at the pleasure of the Speaker of the House and respect his decision for the next term. I look forward to continuing as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives and serving the citizens of my district.”
Source: The Office of State Representative P. Eric Turner