Actually, it started last night, but in any case the FBI investigation and arrest of Tim Durham has the Indianapolis blogosphere lighting up (and, contrary to Mr. Shella’s assertion, it’s a bi-partisan pile on – with Advance Indiana and Ogden on Politics featuring prominently.) The IBJ’s Greg Andrews seems to have been taking a prominent role (if not the leading role – I haven’t followed it that closely yet) in reporting on this story. Durham, an Indianapolis businessman, seems to have been playing fast and loose with an Ohio based finance company he owns.
Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham has treated Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. almost like a personal bank since buying it seven years ago, and now Durham, partners and related firms owe it more than $168 million, records show.
Fair, a consumer-loan company, listed no insider loans under prior ownership. The extensive borrowing—which represents 70 percent of Fair’s assets—worries some investment-industry observers at a time parts of Durham’s financial empire are strained.
That would be just another installment of the financial Masters of the Universe financiers being revealed as humbugs behind the curtain except that Durham appears to be an exceptional douchebag in terms of his showiness and he has ties to Indiana’s political establishment, especially – it seems – the Indianapolis Republicans. Durham had been married to the daughter of former City-County Council President and business tycoon Buert Servaas. He has also contributed generously to Marion County Prosecutor, Carl Brizzi ($150,000). But Brizzi isn’t the only one, Durham has contributed to. His money has flowed widely, mainly, but not exclusively (looking at you Rep. Hill ($4,600) to the Indiana Republicans.
Knowing as little as I do about this matter, I still have to admit having my views colored by an immediate schadenfreude. Not because of the guy’s politics, but because of the guy’s lifestyle. I’ll never be rich and flashy. I’m not sure I’d even be comfortable if that lifestyle was available to me. But, at a glance, it does look cool. Instead, I went with a slow and steady career and a committed family life. As with most things that are worthwhile in this life, the path is slow, subtle and, at times, hard (that last applies mostly to work – I haven’t yet seen what is especially hard about family life: pick a good spouse, don’t be a complete jackass, and raise your children as best you can. The rest seems to more or less take care of itself. Perhaps my kids’ teen years will be a rude awakening.)
But, in any case, it’s gratifying when things that look too good to be true turn out to be too good to be true and to see a guy cheating to get ahead brought low. This is all a little preliminary, I guess. Maybe all the negative reporting about this guy is premature and wrong. But there is a lot of smoke all of a sudden, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that there was fire. All of the local politicians should probably review their connections to the guy, review the contributions they received from him and his organizations, and be prepared to explain themselves.