INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 19, 2014)– After a year full of controversy and an ethics investigation into his actions, State Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, announced Friday that he will resign his seat in the Indiana General Assembly.
The news comes three weeks after Turner lost his role as House Speaker Pro Tempore and several months after an ethics committee cleared Turner of any wrongdoing.
Turner was accused of using his influence to stop a bill that could have potentially lost millions of dollars for his family business. In the final days of this year’s legislative session, Turner reportedly lobbied fellow Republicans during a closed-door caucus session to kill a bill that would have put a moratorium on new nursing homes. Turner’s family owns a nursing home business.
Turner has represented Indiana’s 32nd House District for 24 years. In a statement Friday, Turner said he will be pursuing opportunities with an Atlanta-based Christian organization called EQUIP. Turner plans to complete his current term and will remain on the ballot. He will resign his seat sometime after the election.
“It has been the honor of my life to represent constituents of my district in the Indiana House of Representatives,” said Turner. “I will forever treasure the opportunities I have had to make Indiana better. My wife, Cyndy, and I look forward to this new chapter in our lives, where we can share our skills and abilities with an outstanding Christian ministry, as well as enjoy time with our nine, soon-to-be 11 grandchildren,” said Turner.
Turner will become an associate trainer with EQUIP where he will join other Christian businessmen and pastors in leadership training for pastors and laymen to the extended church throughout the world.
“Cyndy and I debated earlier in the year whether to run for one more term, even though we knew the potential ministry opportunity with EQUIP was around the corner,” said Turner.
Turner says he is very thankful for the privilege to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore for six years.
“I will always value and cherish the many friendships I have established with people from all throughout my district, with former and current legislative colleagues, individuals in the Executive Branch, and with those who represent companies and organizations in the Statehouse hallways,” said Turner.
Indiana law prevents a candidate from getting off the ballot after July 15. Provided they are re-elected, a Republican Caucus of precinct committeemen will replace the two retiring legislators after the election.
Turner is running against Democrat Bob Ashley, who has called for further investigations into Turner’s behind-the-scenes actions in the House.
Turner was also the author of HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that passed the General Assembly this year, but not before it was altered to prevent it from appearing on this year’s ballot.
Chairman John Zody issued the following statement to FOX59:
“This afternoon’s announcement that Representative Eric Turner would resign from the General Assembly following the 2014 election is yet another example of Statehouse Republicans’ lack of respect for the will of Hoosiers. Not only did Rep. Turner face an ethics investigation – but in recent weeks Hoosiers have learned that there was much, much more to the story. Are we supposed to believe that Turner knew nothing of the billion-dollar deal he made while he was lobbying for his personal interests during the last session of the General Assembly?
Now, with a final snub to Hoosiers, Turner is taking for granted that he’ll be re-elected in November, only to have his House seat filled by a caucus of GOP leadership. In reality, the culture of corruption and disrespect by Statehouse Republicans has gone far enough – and Hoosiers have had enough. Come November 4, Democratic candidate Bob Ashley will prove that he’s the better choice for Hoosiers and Turner will not have the chance to resign.
Eric Turner’s legacy as a Republican leader will be bookmarked by his failure to disclose his personal financial interests while serving in the legislature, as well as his relentless push to slam the door on equality, dignity and respect for all Hoosiers. Indiana deserves so much better – candidates like Bob Ashley will prove that Democrats are problem solvers who will lead our state into the future.”