Karen Freeman-Wilson

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Karen Freeman-Wilson
19th Mayor of Gary
Incumbent
Assumed office
2012
Preceded by Rudolph M. Clay
40th Indiana Attorney General
In office
2000–2001
Governor Frank O'Bannon
Preceded by Jeff Modisett
Succeeded by Steve Carter
Personal details
Born (1960-10-24) October 24, 1960 (age 54)
Gary, Indiana
Political party Democratic Party
Profession Attorney

Karen Freeman-Wilson (born October 24, 1960)[1] is an American attorney, former judge, former Indiana Attorney General, and current Mayor of Gary, Indiana.

Early life and education[edit]

Freeman-Wilson was born in Gary, Indiana, and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.[2]

Judge and Attorney General[edit]

She served as a presiding judge of the Gary City Court from 1995 to 2000. In 2000, she was appointed Indiana Attorney General by Governor Frank O'Bannon to serve the remaining eleven months of the term of Jeff Modisett, who resigned to become Deputy CEO and General Counsel to the Democratic National Convention.[3]

As the incumbent, Freeman-Wilson ran for Indiana Attorney General in 2000 but lost to Republican Steve Carter.

State auditors later found that the former Attorney General Freeman-Wilson issued more than $700,000 in grants without approval from the Governor and various agencies during her eleven months in office. The Indiana State Board of Accounts discovered this when it filed the annual audit of this office in 2001. The State Board found that Freeman-Wilson issued grants from the $1.39 million payment Indiana received for work on the national tobacco settlement. A $500,000 grant to the Indiana Minority Health Coalition was also issued without approval from the Governor and agencies under his control. Freeman-Wilson acknowledged, "mistakes were made." She stated to the Indianapolis Star, "I'm not going to criticize Mr. Carter and I don't think he should criticize me." Attorney General Carter responded, "We can only clean up the office from this point forward."[4][5]

After leaving office, Freeman-Wilson went on to become CEO of the nonprofit National Association of Drug Court Professionals. While there she helped get a trial of Prometa, a treatment for methamphetamine addiction, launched in the Gary drug court.[6] In July 2007, Hythiam Inc., the company licensing the Prometa protocol, named Freeman-Wilson to its board of directors.[3] Other executive posts held by Freeman-Wilson include Executive Director of the National Drug Court Institute and director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.[7]

Legal Counsel: Gary Urban Enterprise Association[edit]

Freeman-Wilson served as legal counsel to the Gary Urban Enterprise Association from 1995 to 2006.[8]

Mayor of Gary[edit]

In April 2011, Rudy Clay announced he was ending his re-election campaign due to prostate cancer, endorsing Karen Freeman-Wilson as his successor. Rudy Clay asked his supporters to vote for Freeman-Wilson.[9] In May 2011, Freeman-Wilson won the Democratic mayoral primary for the city of Gary. She had previously run in both 2003 and 2007, losing to Scott L. King and Rudy Clay respectively. Given the political nature of Gary she was considered a heavy favorite in the general election.[10][11] She won the election with a landslide 87 percent of the vote. She became the city's first female mayor.[12]

Freeman-Wilson and her "New Day" Transition Team developed a Blueprint for Gary. Under her axiom, "Karen for Gary," promises were made to improve public safety, economic development, and the city's appearance and image.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Michael Puente (2010-12-10). "Is Gary Ready for Another Mayor Hatcher?". WBEZ.org. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  3. ^ a b Robinson, Sean (December 23, 2007). "Data show mixed value of Prometa". The News Tribune. 
  4. ^ "State of Indiana Board of Accounts: Audit Report of the Office of the Attorney General State of Indiana November 1, 1998 to March 31, 2001". 2001-08-01. Retrieved 2001-08-01. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (2001-08-30). "Audit Hits Freeman-Wilson Agency Says Grants by Former Attorney General Broke Law". Post-Tribune. Retrieved 2001-08-30. 
  6. ^ Huus, Kari (January 11, 2008). "Setbacks plague drug addiction remedy: Prometa pilot program loses funding amid questions over effectiveness". MSNBC.com. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  7. ^ http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinion/forum/article_dba25a0b-ae63-5916-9153-c48950401f09.html Retrieved 2011-06-09
  8. ^ MichaelGonzalez (2011-04-26). "Freeman-Wilson says she has clean hands in drug court, GUEA activities". post-trib.com. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  9. ^ Pete Nickeas (2011-04-12). "Clay Endorses Freeman-Wilson for Gary Mayor". nwitimes.com. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  10. ^ Jon Seidel (2010-12-03). "Freeman-Wilson to announce Gary mayoral bid". Post-Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 
  11. ^ http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/article_dea65a33-81b6-5403-9445-bbd9f548c21d.html Retrieved 2011-06-09
  12. ^ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (2011-08-11). "Democrat Karen Freeman-Wilson easily wins election as Gary's first woman mayor". Daily Reporter. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  13. ^ Bowedeya Tweh (2011-10-11). "Gary needs to Change It Course, Candidate Says". nwitimes.com. Retrieved 2011-10-11.