House Speaker Brian Bosma has removed Rep. Eric Turner from his leadership team amid concerns over Turner's lobbying against a nursing home construction ban that would have impacted his family's business.
Bosma said Friday he had removed Turner as House speaker pro tempore "many weeks ago" because of Turner's "irreconcilable conflict."
The Associated Press reported that Turner fought in private meetings of House Republicans to kill the ban. Internal documents obtained by the AP showed Turner's family business could have lost millions if the legislation had been approved.
The House Ethics Committee determined that Turner had not violated any formal rules. But Bosma said the investigation exposed holes in the state's ethics laws and said he would seek changes in the upcoming session.
“During my six years, it has been my honor to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore under Speaker Brian Bosma," Turner said in a press release Friday. "I have remained committed to serving the Speaker, our Caucus, and the Indiana House with the highest integrity. I serve at the pleasure of the Speaker of the House and respect his decision for the next term. I look forward to continuing as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives and serving the citizens of my district.”
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody released a statement applauding Bosma's decision.
"It’s become increasingly clear that Turner had far more at stake financially than what was originally thought or than what was disclosed," Zody said. "The Speaker has made the right decision removing him from leadership, but it doesn't end the culture of corruption that is pervasive with the current Republican leadership at the Statehouse."
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