INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There are new questions being raised regarding State Representative Eric Turner’s efforts to kill a nursing home construction moratorium during the 2014 General Assembly. Those questions have led House Speaker Brian Bosma to remove Turner from a leadership post.
It’s a scandal that surrounds a company called Mainstreet Properties, founded by Turner’s son. Turner is an investor in the company.
The Mainstreet website currently tells of the $2 billion deal reached earlier this month to partner with an Ohio firm.
It’s a deal that likely was possible only because state lawmakers killed the proposed moratorium on nursing home construction. Rep. Turner admitted to lobbying fellow Republicans in private to kill the bill.
Bob Ashley is Turner’s Democratic opponent. He called a Statehouse news conference to say, “We don’t know whether, um, whether this deal was in place or in negotiation at the time that Eric Turner successfully killed the nursing home moratorium in the Republican caucus.”
In April, the House ethics committee investigated and cleared Turner. He answered written questions and didn’t appear before the committee.
Ashley wants a new investigation.
“They didn’t get to the bottom of anything,” he said. “This hole is standing out there and it still stinks.”
House Speaker Brian Bosma says the review was thorough but also says it revealed gaps in House ethics rules and he promises to file a new ethics bill in 2015.
But Bosma also criticized Turner for what he called an “irreconcilable conflict” in the debate of the nursing home moratorium. He says Turner should have recused himself and that, as a result, Turner will no longer serve in the role of Speaker Pro Tem.
Turner released a statement saying that he intends to continue on as a state representative.
A spokesperson for Mainstreet Properties says merger talks didn’t start until after the General Assembly ended.