Home > Political Animal > The Ghosts of '07

The Ghosts of '07

By PA

Fort Wayne Reader

2009-11-09


Remember the heady days of Fort Wayne’s mayoral race of 2007? The scramble to find a Democratic candidate? Matt Kelty’s surprise victory over Nelson Peters in the Republican primary? The subsequent legal wranglings over campaign finance issues? The extremely low voter turnout…? Ahh, good times, good times…

Now, a lawsuit filed in Allen Superior Court on November 3 is resurrecting Fort Wayne’s Summer of Political Rancor. Fred Rost III, an advisor to the Matt Kelty campaign and the former president of the Allen County Right to Life Committee, has filed suit against the former Republican mayoral candidate, seeking to regain $125,000 of a $150,000 loan to Kelty to finance his campaign.

Rost loaned Matt Kelty the $150,000 in December of 2006, part of a $158,000 loan (the other $8,000 was from campaign manager Glenna Jehl) that Kelty did not report as a campaign contribution, taking the position that it was a personal loan.

But a grand jury decided that the money did qualify as a campaign contribution, and in August 2007 Kelty was indicted on seven felony charges and two misdemeanors. He eventually plead guilty in October 2008 to false informing (misdemeanor) and two counts of filing a fraudulent campaign report (felony) when e-mails between Kelty and campaign staffers seemed to indicate that the candidate knowingly lied to the grand jury.

Rost says he was repaid $25,000 of the loan, but is now seeking the remaining $125,000, plus interest, late charges, attorney fees and expenses.

Do unto neighbor(hood advocates)…

Among the cuts Fort Wayne City Council made to the administration’s budget late last month were two neighborhood area advocate positions.

The mayor’s office has four neighborhood advocates, and they essentially serve as the go-bewteens, the ambassadors, the envoys, the plenipotentiaries between the mayor’s office/the City and neighborhood presidents and associations. It’s a pretty important function; city council members often don’t have the time or resources to attend, for example, every neighborhood association meeting in their district, or field a multitude of questions about, say, city ordinances (“what’s the rule on lawn mowers after 8 pm? Before 10 am? On Saturday afternoons when more than three leafblowers are running in a quarter-mile radius…”). That’s where the neighborhood advocate comes in.

Now the City will apparently have to do more with less, and Mayor Henry is not happy about it, telling a meeting of neighborhood presidents that he strongly opposed the vote — and naming council names — and is looking at possibly restructuring the program.

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