Joe Hogsett

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Joe Hogsett
49th Mayor of Indianapolis
Assumed office
January 1, 2016
Preceded by Gregory A. Ballard
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana
In office
September 30, 2010 – July 31, 2014
Preceded by Susan Brooks
Succeeded by Josh Minkler (Acting)
57th Secretary of State of Indiana
In office
January 2, 1989 – January 7, 1995
Governor Evan Bayh
Preceded by Evan Bayh
Succeeded by Sue Anne Gilroy
Personal details
Born Joseph Hadden Hogsett
(1956-11-02) November 2, 1956 (age 60)
Rushville, Indiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Residence Indianapolis, Indiana U.S.
Alma mater Indiana University, Bloomington
Butler University
Christian Theological Seminary

Joseph Hadden "Joe" Hogsett (born November 2, 1956) is an American attorney, prosecutor, and politician who is the 49th and current mayor of Indianapolis. Hogsett served as the Secretary of State of Indiana from 1989 to 1994 and as the Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party from 2003 to 2004. He was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1992, for Indiana's 2nd congressional district in 1994 and for Attorney General of Indiana in 2004. He most recently served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana from 2010 to 2014. On November 3, 2015, he won the race for Mayor of Indianapolis in the 2015 election.

Early life and education[edit]

Hogsett was born in Rushville, Indiana in 1956. He graduated from Indiana University, and received graduate degrees from both Butler University and the Christian Theological Seminary, earning his degree in law from Indiana University. He went on to serve as a clerk for the Monroe County Superior Court and many civic and charitable positions.

Secretary of State[edit]

In 1986 Hogsett served as campaign manager for Evan Bayh's successful bid for Secretary of State of Indiana. Bayh tapped Hogsett to serve in the position of deputy Secretary of State. Hogsett then managed Bayh's successful campaign for Governor of Indiana two years later and was appointed by Bayh to the office of Secretary of State that Bayh had vacated. Hogsett went on to win election to the office and served until December 1994, when he declined to run for re-election. As of 2014 he is the last Democrat to occupy the office of Indiana Secretary of State.

Congressional and Senate elections[edit]

In 1992, Hogsett ran for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Dan Coats. Coats, who had been appointed to the seat by Governor Robert D. Orr in 1989 after Dan Quayle resigned to become Vice President of the United States, had won a special election in 1990 to serve out the remainder of Quayle's term and was seeking a full 6-year term in office. Hogsett lost to Coats by 900,148 votes (40.8%) to 1,267,972 (57.3%), carrying 13 of the state's 92 counties

In 1994, Hogsett ran to succeed retiring Democratic Congressman Philip Sharp of Indiana's 2nd congressional district. He faced Republican David M. McIntosh and lost by 78,241 votes (45.5%) to 93,592 (54.5%), in a year when the Republicans made sweeping gains.

Democratic Party Chairman, Attorney General election[edit]

In 2003 he became chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, serving 2004 when he resigned to run for Attorney General of Indiana.

Hogsett ran against Republican incumbent Steve Carter and was defeated by 953,500 votes (39.9%) to 1,389,640 (58.2%).

United States Attorney[edit]

In July 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Hogsett to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, succeeding Susan Brooks. He went on to be unanimously confirmed by a full vote of the US Senate.

Hogsett's tenure has been marked by an aggressive approach in combating violent crime, public corruption, child exploitation and civil rights violations. Local commentators have described Hogsett's efforts as bringing "more muscle to crimefighting," and he has launched a number of initiatives related to these priorities.[1]

Violent Crime Initiative[edit]

In March 2011, Hogsett announced the creation of a Violent Crime Initiative, saying at the time that "for too many young people, it is easier to get a gun than an education. That is unacceptable."[2]

Hogsett said that the "VCI," as it has come to be known, would have four priorities: (1) Prosecute more gun crimes than ever before and increase efforts to identify and vigorously prosecute in federal court violent repeat offenders and criminal gangs, especially those who use guns to further their illegal activities and criminal enterprises. (2) Increase the use of law enforcement and prosecution tools such as court-authorized wiretaps, undercover and covert operations, surveillance, search warrants and use of the grand jury to develop the best possible cases. (3) Actively utilize federal drug laws and federal gun laws for the "worst of the worst" to allow for pretrial detention and stiffer sentences. (4) Aggressively employ a multi-agency law enforcement approach to investigate, arrest and aid prosecution of violent repeat offenders and gangs.[3]

According to published reports, Hogsett's Violent Crime Initiative has produced "dramatic" results, including a significant increase in the number of prosecutions filed by his office against individuals illegally possessing guns. In 2010—prior to Hogsett's tenure—there were just 14 illegally armed felons charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office. In 2011, that number jumped to more than 110 individuals, and in 2012, there were more than 160 firearms-related charges filed as part of the Violent Crime Initiative.[4]

Public Integrity Working Group[edit]

In April 2012, Hogsett announced the creation of a first-of-its-kind Public Integrity Working Group targeting public corruption and white collar crime in Indiana. The announcement claimed the Working Group was "historic, in terms of both the number of law enforcement agencies involved and as to the singular focus on such an important issue – the integrity of our public offices and officeholders."[5]

Hogsett's office set up a Public Corruption Hotline to assist the Working Group, which was reportedly modeled after efforts to combat corruption in northwestern Indiana. He has also responded to critics wary of partisan prosecutions by citing his recent prosecution of two Indianapolis city councilmen: one a Republican convicted of taking bribes to grease the wheels for a new strip club; the other a Democrat charged with swindling more than $1 million from an investor.[6]

Indictment against Imperial Petroleum[edit]

On September 19, 2013, Jeffrey T. Wilson,[7] Craig Ducey, Chad Ducey, Brian Carmichael, Joseph Furando, Evelyn Pattison, Caravan Trading LLC, Cima Green LLC, CIMA Energy Group and Imperial Petroleum were indicted in what Joe Hogsett referred to as "the largest instance of tax and securities fraud in state history" (in Indiana). Per the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, a tax subsidy was offered to the very first person or organization to mix pure biodiesel (B100) with petroleum diesel. The individuals are accused of fraudulently selling over 130 Megaliters of RIN-stripped B99 to clients who paid an artificially augmented dollar amount while believing that they were acquiring B100 with RINs and a tax subsidy.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


On July 14, 2014, Hogsett announced that he was resigning his office, effective July 31.[17]

2015 Indianapolis mayoral election[edit]

On August 15, 2012, the Indianapolis Star published a piece entitled, "Is U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett eyeing a run at Indianapolis mayor?" The profile noted that Hogsett's visibility and successes as U.S. Attorney had fueled speculation of a return to politics in Indiana, citing both the 2015 mayoral election in Indianapolis and the 2016 U.S. Senate race as possibilities. Hogsett received especially strong praise from former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, who described Hogsett as "a wonderful representative for the Democratic Party and the people of Indiana."[18]

In December 2012, the Indianapolis Business Journal named Hogsett a 2012 Newsmaker in a piece entitled, "Crime stance returns Hogsett to political spotlight."[19]

In July 2014, four years after his nomination as U.S. Attorney, Hogsett announced he would leave the office at the end of the month. The decision was widely interpreted to mean that Hogsett would consider a run against Republican Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Media reports indicated that Hogsett's decision may have been motivated by the record-breaking violent crime spree affecting the city.[20][21]

In the days that followed his resignation announcement, a social media campaign was launched urging Hogsett to run for mayor in 2015.[22] In August 2014, he formed an exploratory committee.[23]

On November 5, Mayor Ballard announced that he would not run for re-election to a third term in office.[24] Seven days later, Hogsett announced his candidacy.[25] He handily defeated Republican nominee Chuck Brewer with 63 percent of the vote, giving the Democrats complete control of city government for only the second time since the formation of Unigov in 1970.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evansville Courier & Press, October 9, 2011, Eric Bradner, "Hogsett brings more muscle to crimefighting". 
  2. ^ Department of Justice, March 24, 2011, "HOGSETT ANNOUNCES JOINT INITIATIVE TO COMBAT VIOLENT CRIME" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Greensburg Daily News, April 21, 2011, Frank Denzler, "Hogsett speaks on crime initiatives". 
  4. ^ Indianapolis Star, January 14, 2013, Star Report, "Indianapolis man sentenced to 15 years on gun charges as part of U.S. Attorney's Violent Crime Initiative". 
  6. ^ New Albany News-Tribune, August 25, 2012, Maureen Hayden, "Evidence shows public corruption cases hard to pursue". 
  7. ^ "Jeffrey Wilson". Forbes. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  8. ^ Report (2010-11-09). "Hoosier Companies Indicted in $100 Million Scheme - Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick". Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  9. ^ Cronin, Margaret (2013-09-16). "Imperial Petroleum Chief Charged With Fraud Over Biofuels". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  10. ^ Orr, Susan. "Feds file fraud charges against president of Evansville-based Imperial Petroleum Inc. » Evansville Courier & Press". Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  11. ^ Gillam, Carey. "U.S. charges 6 people, 3 firms with $100 million biofuels fraud". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  12. ^ Cronin, Margaret. "Imperial Petroleum Official Charged With Fraud Over Biofuels (1)". Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  13. ^ "United States Securities And Exchange Commission V. Imperial Petroleum, Inc. Et Al :: Justia Dockets & Filings". Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  14. ^ "US indicts 7 individuals and 3 companies in alleged $100M biodiesel RINs fraud in Indiana". Green Car Congress. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  15. ^ Dan Human. "Biofuel fraud case shines light on Imperial CEO | 2013-09-19 | Indianapolis Business Journal". Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  16. ^ "Imperial Petroleum, Inc., et al. (Release No. LR-22800; September 18, 2013)". Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  17. ^ "Bayh's campaign cash could help Hogsett run for mayor". IndyStar. July 15, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ Indianapolis Star, August 15, 2012, Carrie Ritchie, "Is U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett eyeing a run for Indianapolis Mayor?". 
  19. ^ Indianapolis Business Journal, December 28, 2012, IBJ Staff, "Crime stance returns Hogsett to political spotlight". 
  20. ^ Indianapolis Star, July 14, 2014, Matthew Tully, "Tully: If Joe Hogsett runs as mayor, everything changes". 
  21. ^ "Bayh's campaign cash could help Hogsett run for mayor". IndyStar. July 15, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  22. ^ We Need Joe, July 20, 2014, "We Need Joe". 
  23. ^ "Hogsett enters race for Indianapolis Mayor". August 14, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Swarens: Indy Mayor Greg Ballard says it's time to move on". The Indianapolis Star. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett officially enters race for Indianapolis mayor". The Indianapolis Star. November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Hogsett cruises to victory with impressive win in Indy mayor's race". The Indianapolis Star. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Baron Hill
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Indiana
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Evan Bayh
Political offices
Preceded by
Greg Ballard
Mayor of Indianapolis