Balancing precariously at 300 N. High St. stands the Scales of Justice. From the third floor of Muncie City Hall, the mayor looks over his subjects and cries… “Let justice prevail!”
Currently, Mayor Dennis Tyler, is embattled in two lawsuits. Perhaps, embattled is much too harsh. Nevertheless, Mr. Tyler is being looked at by the justice system and scrutinized by some of the citizens.
Lawsuit No. 1:
The first lawsuit has been initiated by Beverly Bilbrey which claims as State Representative, Dennis Tyler, promised to help secure her social security benefits and failed. Bilbrey said she contacted Dennis while he was representing Indiana District 34 and Mr. Tyler claims he never spoke with her. It’s a case of he said, she said.
Is it really?
According to Mrs. Bilbrey, Dennis Tyler promised he would work with Senator Bayh on her behalf. When Mr. Tyler stopped taking or returning Bilbrey’s calls, she got on the horn to Senator Bayh who said he had not been in contact with Tyler. Bilbrey, feeling betrayed by the very one she trusted filed a lawsuit against Dennis Tyler last year.
She said she has known Tyler for 20 years, and he says he never met her.
Last week, ex-Senator Bayh and Delaware County Democrat Chairperson, Mike Quirk were subpoenaed along with Tyler’s phone records and Bayh’s office records. Should make for an exciting read. (In jest.) Frivolous or not, the lawsuit is moving ahead and the outcome will be decided in the Halls of Justice.
In case you are wondering what happned, Senator Bayh and Congressman Pence secured her disability benefits.
Lawsuit No. 2:
On the heels of Bilbrey’s case, comes Curtis Westbrook. Mr. Westbrook is claiming the City of Muncie has violated State law by hiring Harvey Wright as the superintendent of Muncie Parks and Recreation (and others). Last Spring, Mr. Westbrook penned a letter to the editor. He minced no words on Sharon McShurley; told Ralph “Jigger” Smith he couldn’t be assured of a win simply by living on the south side; and warned Dennis Tyler just because the African-American community knew little about him, he still needed to show some commitment.
Mr. Westbrook has navigated the justice system and filed suit against the Tyler administration and the City of Muncie.
I don’t know if either of these legal filings have any merit. Afterall, can you sue a politician for promising something he or she has no intention of doing? At some point the voters need to take responsibility for the people they vote into office.
“It’s not going to be a ‘good old boy’s club,'” Tyler said about the first Democratic city administration in 20 years. Muncie Star Press 11-27-11.
The night Dennis Tyler announced his bid for mayor, he was surrounded by the “good old boys”. His political life has revolved around the “good old boys”. It’s the law of the land in Delaware County.
Is is possible for Mrs. Bilbrey or Mr. Westbrook to sue? Sure looks like they are “Imagining the Possibilities”.
Will they prevail? That’s up to the courts, I suppose.