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Whistleblower Alleges State Treasurer Illegally Awarded Millions In Contracts

Taylor Lake / WTIU

A former employee of the state treasurer’s office claims Treasurer Kelly Mitchell illegally awarded millions of dollars in contracts to private companies.

James Holden filed the whistleblower complaint in Marion County Court. He previously worked for the treasurer’s office and filed a wrongful termination suit against Mitchell, which he says in the court filing was settled four years ago.

Holden’s complaint alleges that Mitchell hired multiple outside lobbying and financial firms during her two terms – but never got those contracts approved by the Indiana Attorney General, the State Budget Committee and the Indiana Department of Administration, as required by state law.

And Holden’s filing said many of the companies that received those contracts – including some of the nation’s largest banks and one of the state’s top lobbying firms, Ice Miller – are political allies and donors of Mitchell’s.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.