No charges against ex-senator over Indiana lobbying contract

January 3, 2020 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors have decided a former Indiana state senator won’t face criminal charges over possible violations of state lobbying laws involving his work with the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

A Marion County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman told The Indianapolis Star that its investigation of Republican former Sen. Allen Paul didn’t find conduct supporting criminal charges but didn’t elaborate.

The decision follows an investigation by the Star published in February showing that Paul received more than $150,000 from a contract he signed with a temp agency to push the Department of Veterans Affairs’ agenda with lawmakers from 2015 until early 2019.

Paul, who is from Richmond, signed the contract nine months after retiring from the Senate in 2014 and didn’t register as a lobbyist. It is a felony under state law for legislators to become lobbyists within a year of leaving office.

Paul denied doing anything wrong and that he acted as a consultant, not a lobbyist.

Military veteran Lisa Wilken, who filed a complaint with the state inspector general and was interviewed by the prosecutor’s office, said the decision “sends a horrible message that if you are somebody that makes laws, you can break the laws and there will be no consequences,.”