WHO? Democratic candidate for Marion County Prosecutor
THE BASICS: Terry Curry's background lends itself well to ameliorating the scandals that have rocked the twilight of Prosecutor Carl Brizzi's tenure. Curry has been a trial lawyer in Indiana and Federal courts since 1978, during which time he spent six years as a Marion County deputy prosecutor, where he specialized in prosecuting white collar crime and political corruption.
Curry has also served as a partner at a law firm and as a solo practitioner, having worked as lead counsel in more than 125 court and jury trials, arbitrations, and injunction hearings.
NUVO: What is step one in cleaning up the negative perceptions of the prosecutor's office?
Terry Curry: Clearly the number one challenge for the next prosecutor is to restore trust and confidence in the office, and I think we will do that in a number of ways. But the primary way we will do that is to build upon and expand upon the community prosecutor unit of the office and to be even more aggressive and take the initiative in engaging the community in collective efforts.
One thing that we would do is to more systematically share crime information with the neighborhoods so that if you're president of your neighborhood association we would provide you, on a systematic basis, with what's going on in your neighborhood -- the arrests that have been made, the status of cases. I think that the latter part of that is what is most important -- to make sure that the community is aware of successes that occur. If there is a particular block, if there are some prostitution problems, you know, we want to make sure everyone is aware if we successfully eliminate that problem.
NUVO: Would you retroactively pursue any of the corruption allegations that have been swirling about the prosecutor's office for the past year?
Curry: If there is criminal conduct which has occurred, that has not been prosecuted and the statute of limitations has not run out, then that is really something that we would look into.
NUVO: At a recent press conference you talked about wanting to go back and re-file charges the police officer David Bisard case, in which an allegedly intoxicated police officer hit three motorcyclists while driving, killing one. Will that help restore public faith in the office?
Curry: Certainly, first of all, what we said is that if the circumstances are as we understand them to be, we would need to re-file the alcohol related charges in that case. In my mind, not only is that the right thing to do, as I understand the circumstances and the law, in light of the significant public outrage over what's happened and the perception that there has been a cover-up in that case, we need to let that whole process play out openly and fairly so that no matter what the outcome, everyone is comfortable that at least it was heard openly. Hopefully that will, again, contribute to reversing the cynicism and suspicion that's out there.
NUVO: Some previous prosecutors seemed to have used the job as a springboard to higher office. How do you see the job?
Curry: You are exactly right. Over the years, it seems that every single person who has sought that office and been elected to office has just viewed [it] as a stepping stone in an ongoing political career. At this point of my life, I did not go looking to do this. I was recruited by a number of people within my party who asked me if I would consider doing it, and I was willing to do it because I understand the significance of the work that goes on there and the potential for the office, not because I view it as some way to position myself to run for mayor or congress or anything else. I am doing it because I want to be prosecutor.
NUVO: Could you explain what you feel is unique to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office in terms of its ability to prosecute white collar crime, not just in the business community, but in the Statehouse?
Curry: First of all, there is no question whatsoever that the office in the last eight years has not had the ability nor the inclination to pursue 21st Century crime, white collar crime, political corruption matters -- it just hasn't happened. That would be another priority for me to restore the ability of the office to take on that sort of crime, which I know can happen because that's exactly what I did during my six years there. In terms of the political watchdog role of the office, the Marion County office is the only effective watchdog over state government. If there is corruption in state government and in the state legislature, it's going to fall almost exclusively to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office to investigate and prosecute those matters because state government sits here in Marion County.