Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has been cleared with accusations of violating laws or ethics rules when he flew on a private plane funded by a casino company that runs Gary’s Majestic Star casinos in the state.
Concluding the investigation, the Indiana inspector general has found that no state laws or ethics were violated.
Inspector General Lori Torres found that Gov. Holcomb was under no obligation to list the trips as gifts on his state financial disclosure statement because the flights were arranged by the RGA, intended to benefit the RGA, and reported, as required, to federal tax authorities as in-kind contributions to the Republican governor’s group.
“Although it is likely that the governor’s attendance at the RGA meetings, and therefore the flights, had some benefit to the governor and/or the first lady, the OIG found no evidence to dispute the claim that the flights primarily benefited the RGA,” Torres said.
After reports emerged that Holcomb was flown in a private plane owned by the casino company, Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody filed a complaint alleging ethical misconduct.
The issue also gained support as Spectacle Entertainment, the casino company which operates the Gary casinos in the state, was campaigning to shift the floating casinos from Lake Michigan to a land-based site.
Earlier in May, Governor Eric Holcomb officially signed a gambling expansion bill which made sports betting legal in the state. It brought a major change in the gambling landscape in the state since 1993 when two riverboat casinos were first authorized in Indiana.