Democratic councilors question ROC deal, say it could affect vote on justice center

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 23, 2014) — The fallout from those controversial e-mails from Mayor Ballard’s office about the Regional Operations Center (ROC) deal continues tonight.

It's raising questions about a bigger issue: Plans for the $400 million dollar criminal justice center. Democratic councilors met at the city county building today to share their concerns. They say the e-mails show  council members didn’t get the full story from ballard before voting on the ROC lease.

"He doesn’t see any problem with this deal or the way it was handled, and that’s a shame,” said Democratic Councilor Joe Simpson

“We can not let similar mistakes occur when it comes to the proposed justice center project,” Simpson said.

The Mayor's office released a statement after democrats made their announcement today:

 “Every City-County contract has the same goal: to provide better service at the best possible price for taxpayers. We look forward to continued cooperation with the Council to provide information concerning all City-County contracts and will continue our regular meetings with councillors to ensure they are fully informed about this contract and all contracts going forward.

The need for a new, efficient Marion County justice complex has been studied and agreed upon for decades. This administration has met with councilors from both parties to review all aspects of the agreement, and we will continue to do so in the coming months. Thousands of pages of documents, including the contract agreement between the City-County and the preferred bidder, are available for review by all councilors and the public online at www.indy.gov/justicecenter.” - Statement from Marc Lotter on Council Democrats’ announcement

The Mayor has asked the council to approve the deal by March 31 for funding reasons. Today, democrats say that deadline is “unrealistic.”

Meanwhile, republicans have said they believe this is all a political move.