CARMEL, Ind. - There are concerns over a Carmel City Council vote that took place back in April. The vote tied the city to a new bank, United Fidelity.
The bank is owned by a company that has deep ties to the city and there are questions being raised about why taxpayers didn’t know more about the deal.
“I knew who the owner of the bank was,” said Carmel City Councilman Jeff Worrell.
Most Carmel City Council members, like Worrell, knew when they voted in April to make United Fidelity the new city bank, that it was owned by Pedcor.
“The Clerk Treasurer assured me that there was a good bidding process and that the amount of dollars that we could save, were significant,” said Worrell.
Pedcor has received millions of taxpayer dollars from Carmel to build projects throughout the city. Also, the company’s executives have given thousands of dollars to Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard’s election campaign.
Council members knew Pedcor owned United Fidelity, but many Carmel taxpayers, didn’t.
“The numbers spoke for themselves. She assured me that all the proper procedures were followed for a bidding process,” said Worrell.
United Fidelity was one of 11 companies that bid to be Carmel’s new bank. City officials say the choice was obvious. United Fidelity’s bid was the most cost effective and saved the city almost $150,000 a year.
The Mayor’s office released this statement about the contract:
“The City of Carmel is pleased that the taxpayers will save more than $146,000 each year with the new banking plan. The Clerk Treasurer’s office went far beyond all of the legal requirements of the open bid process and 11 banks submitted their proposals for evaluation. It is unfortunate that the focus of the story has shifted to something other than the positive savings for our taxpayers.”
When councilors were asked if Pedcor’s ownership of United Fidelity was announced publicly if it would have changed their vote, all councilors said no.