Gibson points to Duggins’ letter as proof that Coffey had the OK for his harvest cash-coming car park. In other news, City Hall ethics are in critical condition.


Previously we were trying to determine whether anyone in a position of authority had given Dan Coffey explicit permission to use city property to park cars during Harvest Homecoming.

In a dramatic semi-literate letter to city council, former redevelopment bag man (David) Duggins accepts responsibility for Coffey’s harvest cash-coming car park cronyism caper.

Prior to Duggins’ conveniently timed revisionist history lesson, we’d asked interim redevelopment commission director and city attorney Shane Gibson, as well as the body’s secretary Adam Dickey, whether any commission records exist testifying to official recognition of Coffey’s antics.

Today the response came back.

Mr. Baylor:

In response to your email request dated November 29, 2017, please find attached the only document in the possession of the Commission/City regarding that matter.

Shane L. Gibson

Corporate Counsel
City of New Albany
311 Hauss Square, Rm. 316
New Albany, IN 47150

Naturally, this document is Duggins’ very same letter, as almost certainly commissioned by Gibson himself and brandished like a mutton javelin by Coffey at Monday’s council meeting.

Pending coherent thoughts from Mayor Jeff Gahan, it seems that our inquiry is halted. Duggins said it was okay; he does as he pleases, conflict of interests be damned, and that’s that.

Coffey’s piling up the pork barrel winnings for the Knights of Columbus, who at a future time probably will regret the decision to allow a copperhead snake to be the face of the organization — though not just yet.

City council has not ever censured Coffey, who in the past physically threatened a citizen and openly spouted anti-gay slurs. Of course, Duggins is Jeff Gahan’s golden boy, one who could openly urinate on the city’s Christmas tree and be promoted with a pay rise for his bladder relief.

In New Albany, in spite of the PR ballyhoo at their inception, neither human rights nor ethics commissions exist in any tangible, real-world way, and yet what we’re witnessing here is the precise rationale for some semblance of the citizenry’s recourse to ethical lapses. 

As it stands, Coffey wins yet again … and the city loses.

Yet again … and 2019 just can’t come soon enough.