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Special prosecutor in LaGrange

A LaGrange County judge has appointed a special prosecutor to review a State Board of Accounts audit that accuses the county commissioners of misfeasance and the county attorney of failure to properly disclose a conflict of interest in a land deal that includes property near Oliver Lake.

Superior Court Judge George Brown and LaGrange County Prosecutor Jeff Wible went just about as far geographically from LaGrange as possible to select a special prosecutor. Former Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco of Evansville, who held the office 20 years before returning to private practice in 2010, will conduct the investigation. Levco is accustomed to politically tinged cases, having prosecuted a sheriff and a Bloomington city councilman, among others.

A heavyweight special prosecutor is appropriate for a case involving high-profile law firms. The politically connected Indianapolis powerhouse firm of Ice Miller is representing the commissioners, who deny any wrongdoing. The county attorney, Kurt Bachman, is with Fort Wayne-based Beers, Mallers, Backs and Salin.

No new regulations, except

Gov. Mike Pence quickly fulfilled a campaign promise shortly after taking the oath of office Monday by issuing an executive order declaring a moratorium on any new state government rules affecting businesses.

But the order included a long list of exceptions, allowing:

“Rules to fulfill an objective related to job creation and increasing investment in Indiana or to improve the quality of Indiana’s workforce.”

“Rules that implement a federal mandate and no waiver is permitted.”

“Rules to address matters pertaining to the control, mitigation or eradication of waste, fraud or abuse within a state agency or wasteful or abusive activities perpetrated against a state agency.”

“Rules whose predominate purpose and effect are to address matters of emergency or health or safety.”

In other words, the governor’s executive order is banning state agencies from issuing any rules that he doesn’t want but allowing any new rules that he likes or is forced to accept, which is the way things have been.