Judge orders Holcomb to release Pence, Trump emails on Carrier Corp.
A Marion County judge ordered Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office to turn over emails between then-Gov. Mike Pence and President-elect Donald Trump about retaining jobs in Indianapolis after an announced move to Mexico by Carrier Corp.
In a ruling this week, Superior Court Judge Heather Welch gave the governor 30 days to deliver the documents to the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana. The nonprofit first requested the Carrier documents in December 2016.
The CAC’s complaint alleged “violations of the Indiana Access to Public Records Act” in the withholding of the documents.
In a statement to the media, Kerwin Olson, CAC’s executive director, called Welch’s order one of the most significant judicial rulings on governmental transparency ever issued in Indiana.
The ruling, Olson said, reinforces the idea that “government is the servant of the people, not vice versa, and that all Hoosiers are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of their state government.”
Rachel Hoffmeyer, Holcomb’s press secretary, said in an email to IndyStar, that the governor’s office “values transparent government and will follow the law,”
Hoffmeyer said Holcomb’s office has offered to work with the CAC in an effort to narrow its request for records.
Carrier’s plan to move 2,100 Hoosier jobs to Mexico became a major issue during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
On campaign stops in cities across the country in 2016, Trump repeatedly blasted Carrier’s plans to move its heating and air conditioning manufacturing to Monterrey, Mexico.
Trump vowed to “tax the hell” out of Carrier products if it didn’t change its plans.
After the election, Trump and Pence struck a deal with Carrier to keep the plant open for 10 years and employ 1,100 workers at the Indianapolis plant.
Under the deal, Carrier received up to $7 million in conditional state tax incentives and training grants and agreed to invest $16 million in upgrades and automation.