Indiana cases could define conflict of interest

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014, file photo, Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, R-Cicero, speaks during a hearing of the House elections committee at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. House Speaker Brian Bosma has removed 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. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014, file photo, Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, R-Cicero, speaks during a hearing of the House elections committee at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. House Speaker Brian Bosma has removed 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. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The question of what exactly it means to have a conflict of interest is at the heart of recent Indiana ethics scandals.

House Speaker Brian Bosma referenced the issue Friday when he announced that Rep. Eric Turner would no longer be a part of his leadership team. Bosma expressed concern that Turner’s work to benefit his family’s nursing home business posed an “irreconcilable conflict” with his public duties.

The Turner case had recently become fodder for Indiana Democrats looking to break a Republican hold on the Statehouse.

Democratic candidate for auditor Mike Claytor suggested that third-graders would be better equipped to identify conflicts of interest than some public officials.

Bosma says he cracked down on Turner specifically because the public trust needs to be protected.

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