01/31/2009 - State Democratic Central Committee removes Henry County ChairFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2009
State Democratic Central Committee removes Henry County Chair
Unanimous vote comes after investigation, finding of party disloyalty
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Democratic Party State Central Committee met today and unanimously voted to remove Henry County Chair Steve Clark from his position as a result of failed leadership that included multiple violations of party rules.
Clark was barred from holding any party office sanctioned by the Indiana Democratic Party for a term of five years. The Henry County Vice Chair will assume the Chair's responsibilities until the party reorganization meeting on March 7.
Clark was removed from office following a formal investigation into allegations that he allowed Democratic party officials to openly support the Republican mayoral candidate in New Castle in 2007, leading to the election of the first Republican mayor there in 56 years.
A Jan. 19 report summarizing the investigation found that "[t]he Hearing Officer came away from the hearing with the clear but sad conviction that the Henry County Party is in disarray. Individuals on both sides of the controversy are good and sincere people, but the hostility between factions in the County Party is extensive and alarming."
Party rules allow for the removal of a party officer for neglect of duty; willful violation of the party rules; conviction of a felony; disloyalty to the party; or any other course of conduct that does not promote the best interests of the party or creates dissension within the party.
"This is never a step we like to take, but the rules are in place to make sure the party can achieve its goal of electing Democrats," said Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker. "When a party officer permits other party officials to work for a Republican candidate, we can't turn a blind eye."
Parker said Clark's removal will bring new leadership to Henry County Democrats.
"It's time to turn the page on this chapter and get back to working hard to elect Democrats in Henry County," he said.