The 2011 Election

Mayor

Greg Ballard

was reelected in November, but the Republican's next term will

begin with a Democrat-controlled City-County Council.

Ballard defeated Melina

Kennedy

, a deputy mayor in the Bart Peterson administration. Kennedy lost despite the backing of the Fraternal

Order of Police and an endorsement from The Indianapolis Star (which might

illustrate how much pull the local fish wrap has in the city today). She

consistently trailed in the polls, and lost the mayor's office by 7,500 votes.

Although Kennedy lost, her fellow Democrats won a

16–13 majority on the City-County Council, which is believed to be the

first time in the city's history that a Republican mayor would be working with

a Democratic council.

Exiting the water

business

Citizens

Water

, a subsidiary of Citizens Energy Group, is set to complete payments

of an estimated $425 million by year's end to acquire the city's water and

wastewater systems. In addition, Citizens is absorbing more than $1.5 billion

in city debt. The deal removes several burdens from the shoulders of city

officials. Citizens will take the lead on completing upgrades to the sewer and

storm water systems to bring the city into compliance with the Clean Water Act

after years of notorious sewage overflows into White

River

and its tributaries.

City-County Council

Scandals

Two City-County Council members were arrested in 2011; one

was sentenced to prison while the second awaits his day in court.

Former City-County Councilman Lincoln

Plowman

was sentenced to 40 months in prison earlier this month, shortly

after being convicted on bribery and attempted extortion charges. Plowman, the

leading Republican on the council at the time, accepted a $5,000 bribe from an

undercover FBI agent who claimed he needed help opening a strip club in the city

during a sting operation.

As if that wasn't a bad enough black eye for the city,

Plowman, who worked full-time as a major with the Indianapolis Metropolitan

Police Department, accepted the bribe while wearing his police uniform. Plowman

resigned from the council shortly afterward and took early retirement from the

department.

Although Plowman wasn't able to help the undercover

operative open the non-existent strip club, he will likely be seeing plenty of

bars in prison.

Plowman's former fellow councilor Paul C. Bateman Jr. likely

wasn't impressed by the $5,000 extortion attempt; he allegedly defrauded an

Indiana doctor of $1.7 million.

Bateman, a Democrat, convinced the unnamed victim to invest

in an ethanol-production business and The Russell Foundation, to "enhance

society through compassionate concerns for the spiritual, moral and ethical

fibers of the community." The head of the foundation, Rev. Michael L.

Russell, was also indicted, along with a third man, Manuel Gonzalez.

Instead of the money going to the promised purpose,

prosecutors claim the three men diverted the cash to their personal accounts

and spent it on luxury items, including a Cadillac Escalade and custom-made

clothing.

-Robert Annis and

Rebecca Townsend contributed to this report.

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