July 3, 2015

Council, Mayor Fighting Over IMPD Funding Again



INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis city councilors and the mayor’s office are fighting over funding for the city’s police force again, this time over money the mayor removed from IMPD’s general fund.

The City-County Council is accusing Mayor Greg Ballard of inappropriately withdrawing $6.8 million from the police department’s budget. Council President Maggie Lewis says that will hamper the department’s ability to buy new vehicles and equipment.

"This is not how good municipal government works," Lewis said in a statement.

But a spokeswoman for the mayor contends Ballard used the funds to repay a 2014 loan for hiring more officers.

"Rather than engage in productive conversation, council leadership is once again fear mongering through inflammatory and inaccurate Facebook posts," said spokeswoman Jen Pittman in a statement.

Earlier this year, the council overrode a Ballard veto of a $4.7 million spending increase for more IMPD patrol cars and facility upgrades.

The state legislature passed a law in 2013 that gives the mayor of Indianapolis more control to move money around within the city budget. That law will also shrink the size of the council after the November elections.

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