INDIANAPOLIS – Thursday marks two months since the Indiana Democratic Party filed a request for public records with the Indiana Department of Labor. The request centered around how the Department handled workplace safety violations, subsequent employer fines and correspondence from embattled INOSHA Director Julie Alexander. The Department signaled they received the request but then went underground. Zody believed the silence mirrored Governor Holcomb’s strategy to deflect attention from the questionable handling of workplace safety violations and the cozy relationship department officials appeared to have with the employers they were tasked with regulating.
“A worker tragically lost their life and a top Labor Department official was caught on tape coaching an employer on how to skirt responsibility for it,” said Zody. “Holcomb might be trying to sidestep more bad headlines by ignoring the scrutiny, but the family can’t just ignore the loved one they lost. Transparency isn’t optional. Hoosier workers deserve to know whether the agency tasked with protecting them is up to the job.”
The stonewalling of the Party’s records request isn’t the first time the Holcomb administration just flat out refused to respond. In a letter responding to Governor Holcomb’s demand for a retraction, an attorney for Reveal highlighted Holcomb’s evasiveness.
“Not only did Reveal meet its legal standards, but our reporter went to great lengths to get an appropriate response from the Governor prior to publication, reaching out to the Governor’s office multiple times (in four emails, two phone calls, and an in-person visit) for an interview, which they declined.”
“Reveal makes immense effort to report its stories truthfully and has a published policy as to correcting factual errors as promptly as possible but, having reviewed your letter with our editors and reporters, we see no errors, only more questions that the governor should answer. For that reason, our reporters will once more, separately, provide questions that have previously been unanswered by multiple Indiana officials (including the Governor) that might shed more light on this matter.”
Zody noted that, when you don’t like the hand you’re dealt, you blame the dealer.
“Eric Holcomb could make this go away tomorrow by publicly releasing all details of the Amazon case and every other serious workplace safety violation,” said Zody. “Why hasn’t he? Targeting the press is a tactic to distract Hoosiers from the truth: Holcomb might have something to hide.”