As part of our continued efforts to improve transparency within our party and community, I would like to clarify the details of the appointment of Councilor Crystal Neumann and respond to a report that was published suggesting that the Hamilton County Democratic Party misrepresented the outcome of the caucus.
After reviewing the statement issued after the caucus, I have concluded that the language used in the statement did not meet the expectations of transparency I have set forth in leading our party forward. To provide additional clarity, the process was as follows:
- When the seat of an elected official becomes vacant, it is the responsibility of the outgoing elected official's party to fill that seat.
- Indiana Code 3-13-11 states that a caucus of precinct officials must be called to vote on that official's successor.
- The precinct chair list was certified prior to my election, which took place on March 6, 2021.
- After having verified the individuals eligible to participate in the caucus with Hamilton County Election Administrator, Beth Sheller, precinct committee members were notified of the caucus by certified mail, as mandated by state code. They were also contacted by phone and email.
- On the day of the scheduled caucus, the number of precinct committee members in attendance was insufficient to reach a quorum.
- As also designated in Indiana Code 3-13-11-8b, "If a quorum required under the rules of a meeting held under this chapter is not present, the county chairman or an individual designated by the county chairman shall fill the vacancy that exists in the local office."
With no quorum present, I fulfilled my obligation to fill the vacancy as mandated by the state code.
I regret that our previous statement did not live up to our own values and will continue to work to improve our communication as we move forward. I, together with the Hamilton County Democratic Party, welcome and expect to be held accountable by residents.
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