Let's say you're the head of an organization and an employee resigned after pleading guilty to drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
And it was an ugly scene.
Police found a loaded handgun in the employee's car, and he, reportedly, had no permit to carry the gun. According to police, he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test and started a verbal confrontation with officers, threatening to sue them.
After the employee's guilty plea and resignation, would you, as head of the organization: (A) Cut ties with him? Or (B) Hire him as a contractor?
Almost certainly, you would want to disassociate your organization from the former employee, and you would choose option A.
But that's not how it works in Anderson city government, at least not when the troubled former employee's father is the mayor.
Evan Broderick, son of Mayor Tom Broderick, is the man in the scenario above. The incident happened in September 2018. A month later, Evan Broderick pleaded guilty and resigned as the city's assistant city attorney.
But the city continues to use him for legal representation. Tim Lanane, who is both the city attorney and the state senator representing Anderson, explained his rationale for retaining the younger Broderick in a news article published last week in The Herald Bulletin.
Evan Broderick, Lanane said, has continued to represent the city in four court cases he was working on before his resignation.
Speaking of one of the cases, Lanane said, "Evan has all the experience, has done the legal research and contacted the experts in the case. He was the best local attorney. It was in the best interest of the city.”
For his work as a contractor on just two of the four cases, Evan Broderick has received nearly $13,000.
Lanane defended his decision to hire the younger Broderick for the cases, but many problems cast a dark shadow over the decision.
First, there are the family and personal ties. Not only is the contractor in question the mayor's son, Lanane and Evan Broderick also share office space. The latter's name is carved in big letters on the face of an office building off Eighth Street. Just below on the same facade is Lanane's name.
Then there's the younger Broderick's record of being in trouble with the law:
• In 2001, he was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery in Florida.
• In 2003, he was arrested in Delaware County on a drunken driving charge.
• In 2007, he was arrested in Pendleton on a misdemeanor public intoxication charge.
(However, in 2013, a Marion County Superior Court expunged and sealed Broderick’s criminal records.)
In the first two cases, his father, who is a fellow lawyer, helped Evan Broderick get out of trouble. In the 2007 case, the elder Broderick was serving as Madison County prosecutor, and the case was turned over to a special prosecutor, who declined to press charges.
So, when Lanane decided to bring back Evan Broderick to work on behalf of the city, he was bringing back not only a man who had pleaded guilty to drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident in the fall, he was also bringing back a man who had been arrested at least three other times since 2001 on charges ranging from battery to public intoxication.
So ask yourself, if you were the mayor or the city attorney, would you want to continue this person's association with Anderson?
That's an easy one, right?
Not so much for the real mayor and the real city attorney, who've chosen family and professional ties over acting in the best interests of the city of Anderson.
To read related news articles, search for "Evan Broderick" at heraldbulletin.com.