After lawsuit is dropped, Clerk-Treasurer pleads her case


Almost a week after the lawsuit was dropped, Clerk-Treasurer Diana Cordray sent out a strongly worded letter to the media to shoot back at the mayor for taking legal action against her.

It appeared that the conflict had been resolved, but the flames were recently reignited.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard filed a lawsuit against Cordray on Nov. 21 to force her to approve a purchase order for snow removal on city sidewalks and presumably a parking garage. It was originally believed that Cordray refused to approve the purchase order because she was concerned about using the Motor Vehicle Highway fund to pay for these expenditures. Her staff sought outside opinions about whether this was permissible under Indiana State Board of Accounts guidelines.

Eventually, Cordray said that she never said she wasn’t going to approve the purchase order. As a result, it was resubmitted, approved and it seemed that all was well at City Hall. When asked about the situation, she simply told Current that everything was fine and she was happy to move on.

But shortly after Cordray said she didn’t want to discuss the matter further, Brainard released a memo to the press which stated, “Although it took legal action on my part, the City of Carmel can now sign the contract for snow removal in the Arts & Design District and at The Palladium, ensuring safety for pedestrians in the event of snow.”

Now, Cordray is shooting back.

“The Mayor’s lawsuit claimed that emergency legal action was necessary to compel my office to approve snow removal services,” she writes. “The Mayor’s lawsuit is disingenuous at best and omits significant facts concerning this supposed dispute.”

Cordray said she already approved for “approved” snow removal and she put the word “already” in all caps to show emphasis. She said her staff felt the issue was resolved after meeting with the Street Department and that the mayor filed the lawsuit instead of waiting for Cordray to return from her out-of-town business trip.

Eventually, Brainard dropped the lawsuit. The Indianapolis Star described it as a “miscommunication” that was cleared up, but Cordray now states that it was after a “weekend of manipulated and one-sided media attention.”

The full document can be read below:

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