Hogsett: Accusations Are "Partisan Petty Political Gamesmanship"
But he doesn't address substance of allegation of politicking while he was U.S. Attorney
Aug. 14, 2014
Joe Hogsett (wibc.com photo: Ray Steele)
Joe Hogsett didn't say whether or not he engaged in partisan politics while he was U.S. Attorney, but he did have a response for the accuser.
Hogsett on Thursday official formed an exploratory committee to run for mayor of Indianapolis. When he briefly met with reporters outside the Fraternal Order of Police Local 86 lodge, Hogsett did not directly address accusations from the chairman of the Marion County Republican Party that while he was U.S. Attorney, Hogsett was planning his run for mayor. GOP chairman Kyle Walker said Hogsett may have violated the Hatch Act, which forbids certain federal employees from engaging in political activity on the job. "I guess it's inevitable that there's always some partisan, petty political gamesmanship, and that's something I'm not going to get involved in," Hogsett said.
Hogsett only had time for three questions from reporters before a previously scheduled private meeting with some police officers inside the lodge, a meeting he says is part of his exploration of whether to seek the mayor's office. "I don't think it'll be lengthy, but I'm going to use this period of time to do a lot of listening, hopefully learning, and hopefully at the end of that period, engage in a conversation about where our city needs to go," said Hogsett.
In January, Hogsett told reporters that he would not run for mayor in 2015, that he had happy serving as U.S. Attorney ever since he was appointed by President Obama in 2010. What changed since then, he said, is the realization that the city's crime problem couldn't be solved by prosecuting and sentencing criminals. "The challenges that our community face need a comprehensive, dynamic, energetic focus and leadership that, frankly, cannot be satisfied by the role of U.S. Attorney."
Former City-County Councilman Frank Short and State Representative Ed Delaney have already announced plans to run for the Democratic nomination for mayor. Republican Mayor Greg Ballard has not said whether he will run for a third term.