Matt Oakley’s assessment of the prosecutor’s ethical breakdown doesn’t stop with Keith Henderson.


Keith Henderson’s sell-by date fast approaches. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, there’ll be joy unconfined. There’ll be dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons, and necking in the parlor.

Guffaws greet Keith Henderson for Circuit Court Judge: “Reprimand recommended against Floyd County Prosecutor … over actions in David Camm case.”

That said, someone needs to patiently explain to the Jeffersonville-billeted crew at Bill Hanson’s perennially under-performing ad aggregator that is isn’t exactly earth-shattering “breaking” (BREAKING!!!) news when a rival political party’s resident graft coordinator demands that Henderson resign on ethical grounds.

Floyd County Democratic Chairman calls for Republican prosecutor to resign.

Spare me the ennui.

Just as a dog licks his balls, Adam Dickey issues proclamations like this one. They’re valid only for yawning and stoking a fervent desire that if Evan Bayh actually wins, he’ll beam the Boy Wonder with him to DC/Indy/Disney World and end (this particular) recurring local nightmare.

Verily, it’s far more entertaining when one of Henderson’s fellow Republicans casts him adrift without so much as a leftover lemon to ward off scurvy.

So, what’s Matt Oakley up to?

I’m not suggesting he’s being insincere, and what he says in his guest column makes perfect sense. I agree with him. However, it’s worthy of note that his targets aren’t limited to the errant prosecutor.

Maybe he’s sniffing a palace coup. Mark Seabrook’s getting on, and if Billy “Come Lately” Stewart doesn’t win Steve Bush’s seat on the board of commissioners, the longtime county fix will be out — and with it, Henderson’s safe haven.

I’ll be voting for Dennis O. Roudenbush, the independent candidate for Floyd County 3rd District Commissioner.

Granted, it isn’t as though we weren’t aware of Henderson’s many and varied abuses as prosecutor, and Seabrook’s role in ignoring them — as these posts from 2013 attest.

Keith Henderson and the county’s chronic poverty.

Charting the “false narrative” of the Floyd County Commissioners.

Of course, Oakley has viewed this question from another helpful angle, as when he retired from the hospital sale task force.

Oakley asked the county council to remove him from the task force in April, bringing up his real estate deals with Floyd Memorial and his hope to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest.

But let’s not be churlish and look gift hearses in the mouth. The Henderson era can’t end quick enough, can it?

OAKLEY: Prosecutor ethics violation finding should serve as a wake-up call, by Matt Oakley (guest columnist at CNHI Court Avenue)

The Indiana Supreme Court hearing officer recently issued his report in the pending disciplinary action against Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson. After a lengthy trial on the matter, the hearing officer found that Mr. Henderson had a personal interest (the book deal) while he was still representing the State, a conflict of interest and an ethical violation. A separate complaint also alleged Mr. Henderson made “material statements that were false, dishonest, and Fraudulent” when he submitted invoices for his personal attorney to defend him from ethics charges from this private book deal.

The findings of the report are not just an indictment against our prosecutor but also an indictment of the process of spending taxpayer money in Floyd County. It is often easier to ignore embarrassing problems like this rather than to address the situation, but burying our heads in the sand won’t fix the problem …

… Next, when inappropriate claims get paid even under the rights process, we should try and rectify the situation immediately. Although it should have happened in 2012, I will ask for a vote to request Mr. Henderson to pay back the $27,539 Floyd County paid to his private attorney for his ethics investigation. The Ethics Commission also alleged that Mr. Henderson’s ethical violations resulted in a delay in three years of the prosecution of David Camm and more than $225,000 in excess costs and expenses to Floyd County. Inaction is not an option unless we want to repeat this unfortunate scenario.