Mainly that headline, stolen from an old high school buddy, was too good not to use. Ryan Sabalow reports for the Indy Star that Troy Woodruff is resigning. Woodruff gained quite a bit of attention from this blog — probably bordering on unfair by my standards — from his time as a state representative when he cast the deciding vote that brought Indiana on to Daylight Saving Time after he promised his constituents he would never vote for it.
Woodruff was subsequently defeated in his bid for re-election and, not too long after, took a job at the Indiana Department of Transportation. It was difficult not to suspect some sort of connection between that job and the DST vote, given that he had done Gov. Daniels an immense favor by saving one of the governor’s primary initiatives at the expense of Woodruff’s credibility and his legislative seat.
The Indy Star started reporting connections between his family and highway land sales. That has led to an investigation, the results of which are apparently forthcoming:
Gov. Mike Pence ordered the investigation after The Indianapolis Star reported early last year that Woodruff did not disclose to ethics officials a land sale for the I-69 project and that he apparently intervened in a highway bridge project that benefited his relatives.
The Star’s investigation uncovered six I-69 deals that paid $1.86 million to Woodruff’s uncle and cousins, who then bought land from Woodruff and his family for more than market value.
Earlier this month, Mr. Woodruff was seeking an exception from the state ethics commission that would allow him to skip the one year “cooling off” period before he took a job with an engineering consulting firm with whom he had signed what’s characterized as “more than $500,000” worth of projects. (Highway projects can get pretty expensive pretty fast, so I’m not sure how substantial those contracts are in the scheme of INDOT projects.)
Update Ryan Sabalow further reports that the Inspector General did not find actionable offenses by Woodruff, though he suggests changes in the law that would avoid appearances of impropriety.