Home » Indiana inspector general to again investigate I-69 land sale by state official

Indiana inspector general to again investigate I-69 land sale by state official

Staff report

WASHINGTON, IND. (Feb. 4, 2013) — The Indiana inspector general’s office has launched a second investigation into a land sale by a top-ranking Indiana Department of Transportation official, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Former lawmaker Troy Woodruff sold property along the proposed route for Interstate 69 through southern Indiana, while he oversaw 500 employees and the INDOT district through which the corridor passed.

Woodruff and his family had engaged in several deals with the Department of Transportation that yielded an 83 percent gain on a piece of land he owned with his father and brother, the newspaper reported. Woodruff maintained that he did not use his influence or political connections to “enrich his family,” the Star said.

During the first investigation, which was sparked by a tip from a “confidential reporting party,” Special Agent Mike Mischler researched the ownership of land in Daviess County and found 33 acres of property associated with Woodruff, his wife Melissa, and his family, including 15 parcels along the I-69 corridor, according to the inspector’s report. On April 6, 2010, the Woodruffs transferred 2.97 acres to the state of Indiana for the price of $13,328 for use in the project, the report said.

The investigation ruled out potential ethics violations, excess compensation for the sale of the property, conflicts of interest and nepotism, as well as official misconduct. It did not “uncover any evidence to support … the allegations of ethics or criminal violations by Woodruff,” the report said, and the case was suspended.

The office of former governor Mitch Daniels concurred with the inspector general’s report, but an investigation by the Indianapolis Star into Woodruff’s family’s land sales uncovered six land deals that put $1.8 million into the pockets of his s uncle and cousins, who then purchased land from Woodruff and his immediate family for more than market value.

When confronted with the Star’s findings, Inspector General David Thomas said he would open a new investigation, the newspaper reported Sunday.

Click here to read the Indianapolis Star’s in-depth coverage of the story.