City Clerk: I saw a dark side of Mayor Henry

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – According to the City Clerk, Lana Keesling, Mayor Henry tried to bully and retaliate against her over ticketing of vehicle he was
driving with expired plates.

Lana Keesling (R) held a press conference and released a 10-page statement that detailed what she called Mayor Henry’s (D) dark side.  The statement included screenshots of emails from Henry and other officials (below).

The Mayor’s office has acknowledged that there was a disagreement but says there was no abuse of power or harassment.  Mayor Henry is scheduled to give his State of the City address tomorrow at noon.

A spokesman for the Mayor said the plates for the 2018 city-owned, Buick LaCrosse had not yet come in when the vehicle was ticketed.  And that it now has a permanent plate.

Lana Keesling says the mayor retaliated by taking her parking space.

City Clerk, Lana Keesling

Clerk Keesling said, “I saw a dark side of Mayor Henry. He tried to bully me by aggressively retaliating against me for
doing the right thing.”

She claims to have endured being bullied, threatened, intimidated, and retaliated against by the
Mayor.

The following is a verbatim press release from Lana Keesling. None of her claims have been independently verified:

Mayor Henry said, “I can do whatever I want; it’s my building.” Clerk Keesling said, “I felt contempt and disrespect as an elected official and a woman.” All of this by another elected official who has shown contempt for
her because Clerk Keesling enforced the laws she took an oath to uphold.
Mayor Henry believes he holds all of the power in this building and can
retaliate against another elected official and against a woman.
Page 2

Over a week ago, news broke that the Mayor was driving a city vehicle with
an expired plate. On Friday, February 3rd, Clerk Keesling received a call from
Mayor Henry. The situation was discussed as well as how Parking Control
enforced the ordinance on expired plates. It was the understanding at the
end of that conversation that the Mayor was going to park the vehicle with
expired plates in the Tower Garage until the license plate was renewed.
On Monday, February 6th, around 2:00pm, one of the Parking Control Officers
saw a vehicle parked in the Citizen’s Square lot and realized the license
plate was expired. They believed it might have been be the Mayor’s vehicle.
They called Clerk Keesling to ask what they should do in the situation. Clerk
Keesling’s response was “How do you normally respond to expired plates?”
Clerk Keesling’s staff has been taught to treat every vehicle the same as the
ordinances apply to everyone.

The VIN was sent to the BMV and they had no record of the vehicle being registered.

The Parking Control Officer had no way of knowing who actually owned the vehicle. Doing his job, the Parking
Control Officer wrote the citation at 2:01pm for a vehicle with expired plates.
Again, knowing that everyone is held to the same standard, he did his job.
A short time later the Mayor came into Clerk Keesling’s office to harass her
about the citation. The prior conversation was discussed about where
Mayor Henry should park knowing his vehicle had expired plates and again it
was discussed how the laws apply consistently across the board.
The Mayor of this city put Parking Control in a bad situation. The Mayor had
been informed to not drive the car until it had valid plates or if he felt he
needed to drive it, not park it in a public place.

On Tuesday at 9:38am, Clerk Keesling received the first email from the
Mayor stating that his car just can’t stay out of the news and Clerk Keesling
had his parking pass. At first Clerk Keesling was confused as to what he
was asking so there was an exchange of emails. Clerk Keesling next
received an email at 1:04pm on Wednesday stating that the Mayor was
reassigning parking places and removing Clerk Keesling from her parking
spot in the Citizen’s Square Garage, which had always been assigned before
to former City Clerk Sandy Kennedy. Per the emails, the Mayor is
reassigning the spots to remove the City Clerk effective today.
Page 3

The other parking spot Clerk Keesling was given was in the Tower Garage.
The Mayor assigns those spaces and is refusing to provide her a space there
also.
In order to resolve the issue with the Mayor, Clerk Keesling set up a meeting
with the Mayor on Thursday, February 8th. The intent was to deescalate the
situation. During that conversation Clerk Keesling was threatened and was
told several times the Mayor was retaliating against her.
The Mayor stated that he holds all of the control and power; it is his building;
and he can do whatever he wants with the parking spaces. During the
conversation Clerk Keesling asked if it was in retaliation for the parking
issue and several times during the conversation he said “Yes”.

Clerk Keesling has built a reputation for upholding the ordinances and laws
and doing what is right. Her job is bipartisan, she treats everyone equally
and she works equally with all branches of City Government. Clerk Keesling
will not compromise her values, her work ethic, and her principles for a
Mayor who believes that he is above the law and holds all of the power.
The Mayor was right in one sense about holding control. He could have
avoided the situation entirely by not driving a vehicle with invalid plates.
Instead he chose to use his power to intimidate others into looking the other
way and not hold him to the same standards as others.
He now is using his power to harass, threaten, retaliate, and create a hostile
environment. To retaliate against Clerk Keesling by taking away her parking
spot is petty, partisan, sexist, and an abuse of power. This retribution
against another elected official is wrong. This retribution against a female is
very wrong.

Where will the retaliation end? Parking Control has been administered by
the City Clerk’s office for many years. The Parking Control officers are very
happy in the efficient office showing record setting results. Will the Mayor
now retaliate again and try to take Parking Control away from Clerk Keesling
as he did when she was first elected?
All of this because he believes he is above the very ordinances he helped
create as the Mayor of this city and as a former City Councilman.
Page 4

A mayor is a leader of the community; a leader within all branches of the
government. A mayor respects his position and other branches of
government. He respects all elected officials – male or female. His actions
to prove he is not an honorable mayor.
Clerk Keesling does not work for Mayor Henry. She is an elected official and
works for the people of Fort Wayne. The people of Fort Wayne hold all of the
power. They didn’t give Mayor Henry absolute POWER. Fort Wayne deserves
good leadership and the community deserves honesty and integrity in their
leaders.

Clerk Keesling will not turn a blind eye to his abuse. He is creating a hostile
environment. Clerk Keesling refuses to be bullied, harassed and retaliated
against for doing the job that she took an oath of office to do.
To use a quote by Patricia Cornwell, “I believe the root of all evil is abuse of
power”. This abuse of power by Mayor Henry needs to stop. Clerk Keesling
said, “I’m being stripped of any place to park because I did the right thing.”

 

Clerk Keesling also sent the following emails with her statement: