A Marion County Superior judge issued a deadline for the governor’s office to release emails former Indiana governor and Vice President Mike Pence sent connected to the Carrier deal.
The governor’s office has 30 days to release emails about the 2016 deal to ensure some jobs at an Indianapolis Carrier plant were not outsourced. Carrier was put in the national spotlight when then President-elect Donald Trump gave the company tax incentives to prevent jobs from moving to Mexico.
The Citizens Action Coalition (CAC) filed suit over a year ago, claiming the office violated the state’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA). CAC executive director Kerwin Olson says the four APRA requests made are for emails sent towards the end of 2016.
“We saw the sort of odd and bizarre announcements that surrounded the Carrier deal back in late November of 2016 after the presidential campaign had ended,” he says. “Thought things looked a little weird, didn’t quite smell right so we requested documents from the governor’s office related to discussions President-elect Trump or Vice President Pence had with Carrier and their parent company United Technologies.”
Olson says the Carrier deal hurt many families in the Indianapolis community.
“It really felt like sort of political gamesmanship, sort of preying on people’s fears and insecurities you know with what appeared to be false promises,” says Olson.
He says he’s not sure what he expects to find. But he hopes to find answers to what happened with the Carrier deal.
The judge approved two of the four records requests, saying that they were “reasonably particular.” The county judge wants CAC to further specify the other two.
Pence’s office has not responded to a request for comment.