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Friday, September 17, 2010

Is GOP County Chairman Tom John Hijacking Ex-Offender Program To Install Wife As Director?

OBSERVATIONS:  Some believe that being the wife of a public figure is tough, others like Christina Trexler, wife of Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John (TOJO) would say it pays pretty good.  Thanks to her husband's political wheeling and dealing Christina is only a heartbeat away from a nice position in a local not-for-profit supported in part by taxpayer dollars. 

We first picked up this story from the comments section of one of our earlier posts and considered it idle chatter until three of our readers sent us a series of emails with enough insider information to warrant a post. But let's start at the beginning.

Shortly after the election Tom John tried to use his political influence to obtain a job for his then-girlfriend Christina Trexler in the Ballard administration despite the fact that it was well-known by everyone that Tom worked unsuccessfully to derail Ballard's campaign shortly after his primary victory.  Left with few alternatives he negotiated with political insiders to get Christina appointed to the board of Marion County Community Corrections 

As the Ballard administration began to focus on re-entry he again tried and failed to get her appointed as the Director of Re-Entry under Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams. Olgen was apparently unimpressed with her abilities and selected former IDOC staffer Khadijah Muhammad. 

Meanwhile our sources report that Christina was able to use her board position to scout various not-for-profits that were in line for lucrative state and federal funding attached to prisoner re-entry. That's when they found the perfect match in PACE/OAR a well-respected community-based program that works with ex-offenders and known for being apolitical. 

Once they decided this was the organization they wanted, insiders say that they, (Christina, Tom and Abdul) began to schmooze with the executive director Ms. Rhiannon Williams-Edwards even going as far as inviting her to the Republican bastion of power the Columbia Club and securing her husband a job. 

They then convinced her to install Christina as a deputy director and place local attorney/talkshow host and Tom John's BBF Abdul Hakim Shabazz (INBR) (yes this is the same who thinks its ok for police to beat suspects) on her board of directors with the promise that this would bring Republican fundraising to the organization.

When Ms. Muhammad was fired by the City, Tom and Christina tried a different tactic. They urged Rhiannon to apply for the job and suggested that Christina act as interim (deputy) director until the Board could vote on a replacement.  Up to this point the scheme was working, Christina was earning a paycheck with a simple majority vote separating her from a  permanent high-profile directorship with a non-profit organization. 

Of course title alone doesn't make a good leader and it soon became apparent to employees as well as key stakeholders that despite the assistance of her politically powerful husband and strategically placed board ally, she was in way over her head. In a matter of weeks one of the major private funders of PACE/OAR, the nationally known Annie E. Casey Foundation yanked their funding after only one meeting with Ms. Trexler and vowed to withhold all funding unless there was an immediate leadership change. Meanwhile, according to inside sources Mr. Shabazz was quietly working behind the scenes to ease the path for Christina's selection as director despite her obvious deficiencies. 

The appointment of Dr. Frank Straub as Public Safety Director changed the dynamics of this situation as his management style made things so uncomfortable  for Ms. Williams-Edwards she decided to return to PACE/OAR. With her the former donor reconsider withholding their support and internally things began to settle back to down normal. Of course what was good for the organization was bad for Christina as this placed her ascension to the throne on indefinite hold. 

Which brings us to this point. Insiders are extremely nervous because they believe that once again Christina Trexler is in contention for the top job as Rhiannon is making plans for a maternity leave with the possibility of not returning.  Christina has not been shy to board members and staff alike that her husband Tom John and Abdul Hakim Shabazz played a key role in the recent awarding of over a quarter of a million in Federal funds for the organization and therefore its only fair that she is given the permanent appointment as executive director regardless if Mrs. Williams-Edwards returns or not. 

So there you have it. The sordid backroom dealing and manipulation usually found in government/business community has finally leaked into the not-for-profit sector, in this case within an organization that is known for doing yeoman's work with individuals who have no where else to go when they are released from prison.

Sadly we wonder what will the community will think when this issue comes to light.  We've never heard any Republican speak with any degree of passion about this issue and so find it highly questionable that a conservative talk-show host and Republican Chairman would work so hard for ex-offenders.  You would think that a partner in a law firm with that much political clout could find his wife a steady job without soiling the good name and reputation of a effective grassroots program.

Tom John has once again proven that he's a political force to be reckoned with as he successfully injected political cronyism into an effective and essential community agency. And for the record don't think for one instant that Democrats are unaware. 

Ice Miller lobbyist Carl Drummer sits right next to Abdul on the board.

Finally , congrats to all but declared executive director of PACE/OAR Christina Trexler-John.

And may God help those ex-offenders who need jobs but lack the political connections or marriage license to get one. 


UP:  TOJO  $80,  INBR $160



  1. Great reporting IPSE! I am going to forward this links to my friends. I hope Amos Brown picks up this story. This is a terrible shame.

  2. TOJO even looks creepy.

    And the current Mrs. Tojo?

    Didn't they cheat on the now ex-Mrs. TOJO before he was divorced?

  3. Annie Casey WILL NOT be happy when they see this on the Internet. They funded the grantwriting for the Federal Grant assuming that Christina would not be in an adminstrative position.

  4. Ipse, just wanted to say thank you. As an employee of PACE/OAR I can say that everything you've written today is true and sadly even worse than you can imagine. Mrs. Trexler is clueless about this population and has no desire to be in the same room with many of them. She's always threatening us suggesting that she has the Governor's wife and Mayor on heer speed-dial because of her husband's position in the Republican party. She has said when she takes over (not if) she will clean house and put people in who she can work with.

    We are not a political agency. We never have been and don't want to be. We just want to serve those who are trying to re-integrate back into society.

    At this point I'd rather wish we could let the money go than work under these conditions. Thanks for telling our story. We hope someone launches an investigation before its too late.

    God Bless,

    Very Tired,

  5. Near Eastside GrandmotherSeptember 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Tom John, Christina and Abdul could care less aobut the work done on behalf of ex-offenders. My daughter is struggling right now to find a job so she can obtain custondy of her kids and PACE/OAR was a great help. I'm really afraid that if these people are left in charge there will be absolutely nothing for individual who need a second chance. Please someone report this to the Star.

  6. Christina brings a ton of baggage with her. She is not a good fit for the organization regardless of the funding her husband allegedly brought to the table. She often comes to work heavily medicated and it hinders her decision making ability.

  7. Ipse, just for the record Lena Hackett a local consultant wrote the grant for PACE/OAR, Abdul and Tom John had absolutely nothing to do with it. Christina is a liar and people are goring tired of her name-dropping and veiled threats. What makes it worse is that while Rhiannon gave her a chance she has done nothing but undermind her efforts from day one.

  8. Couple Questions: What is Mrs. TOJO's experiance working in and running Not-For-profits? What is her educational background? What does a PACE E.D. earn? How big is PACE? Everyone has a hilarious Mrs. Tojo story (or 2 or 3); but maybe Annie Casey is wrong about her? Maybe the Governor's wife wants her on this board. Just kidding! Thanks for the post.

  9. I hope First Lady Daniels is in no way affiliated with these two leeches. I've met the her at the State Fair and I can't imagine her having anything to do with these political gutter snipes. Go out and get a real job on your own Christina and leave PACE/OAR for people who really care about more than just getting a paycheck.

  10. Northside ConsultantSeptember 17, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    I don't know Christina at all however I have worked with the Annie Casey Foundation, a very very reputable foundation that has been working in the Indianapolis area for the last 10 years or so. All I can say is I wouldn't want to be part of an organization that manages to get on their bad side. If its true that Christina pissed these guys off then she's worthless in the NFP arena anywhere in Indiana. They fund a lot of community-based work around children and families and take their investments very seriously.

  11. These two are a train wreck. I can't believe the Republican Party would tolerate this degenerate as its leader. This is why no one is giving to the local Republican party now. And as for supporting the Indiana Leadership Forum forget it. As long as Tom John is part of the organization most Republicans like me will keep our money in our pocket.

  12. Way ahead of you anon 3:33. There is a quiet growing movement out there that is actually boycotting ILF and the local Marion County Republican Party. Sadly there are a few ILF applicants out there who are getting the cold shoulder from a lot of Republicans who are voting with their pocketbooks. A lot of us feel this is the only way we can be heard over the clammer of corruption surrounding the local GOP. So far the only candidate immune is Mark Massa and that's only because he has placed distance between himself and Tom John.

  13. she drops names and says she has the governor's wife on "speed dial"?

    That's so trashy! But then again, would anyone who has any modicum of class marry a slime ball like Tom John?

  14. I assume that she will be drug tested if she has this position. Phish fans are everywhere.

    I also wonder if she will bring her secret video tape equipment from her private investigaiton company she had.Yes,she was a private investigator.I guess that gives her the qualifications for this job.

    The MCRCC has no money and for good reason.Who wants to give Tom John any money.I for one will be writing a check to Layton.Never in my wildest dream would I have ever thought that I would give money to a Democrat.I'm sure that I am not alone.BTW, last I heard Jason Fishburns daddy had less than $11K for his campaign.I guess he wil have to play teh Jason Fishburn card some more.

    Olgen Williams is not the sharpest tool in the box,but he was smart enough not to hire her.Oh,by the way, it was Olgens son that TOJO screwed in the slateing last year.There ya go TOJO, how does it feel.

    Maybe the Chairman of the MCRCC needs to be tested also.After all he is the brillant man who gave us the paid Wisard spokes person Jason Fishburns daddy.He had to be toasted when he made that decision.Imagine throwing away a political position just because he hates the McAtees.Layton will win by 20 points.

    The problem is that Tojo has way too many powerful people in his pocket,too many favors are owed to him.He has the judges in his poocket as well as Massa. When the Republicans get their asses handed to them in November maybe the powers to be will understand that TOJO is nothing more than the devil incarnate.

  15. Tom is still a relativley lightweight as long as he struggles with his alcohol addiction. Have you ever seen him drunk in public? Loud, hostile and a major a$$hole. Not the kind of guy donors respect.

    Couple that with Christina's heavy use of anti-depressants and you have a very volatile mix.

  16. Vinnie,

    It's not just the alcohol. If you have ever seen Tom at a Phish concert you will see that he loves to partake in the Ganja to the max. I wonder what Loftus and Grand woudl say if they knew that Tom was a stoner.If you look at his eyes, it's a no brainer.The above photo explains it all.

    His mistress/wife is right there with him.However, she likes to top thing off wiht a little Oxy.This explains some of their decisions.

  17. Here's the rest of the story...

  18. Try this little tidbit.


  20. Christina Trexler claims to have an undergraduate degree from IUPUI in psychology and sociology yet there's no record of her ever graduating...interesting. Is there anyone out there who can verify? This alone makes her unfit to serve on the Corrections Board in leadership at the PACE/OAR organization.

  21. @ Tired,

    Christina Trexler doesn't have a degree in psychology, sociology or even basket-weaving. Just ask her next time you see her. Tom knows this and that is why he can't get her a job at his law firm and used his friendship with the PACE/OAR board members to find her an employer that wouldn't dig too deep into her qualifications. Tom claims she gets "anxiety attacks" when faced with big tests or examinations and that has kept her from graduating. Of course she has no such anxiety when it comes to using her husband's position for personal gain and his power against those who question her demands. The Correction Board, the City-County Council members who voted for her and PACE/OAR staff have been hoodwinked into thinking that she has a college degree. This is what insider politics breeds. She should immediately step down from the CC Advisory Board and resign from PACE/OAR.

  22. I remember seeing this on Channel 16 and there was considerable doubt that Christina lived in Marion County. The rumor was she did live in HC and used Tom John's address on her background application as her home address and that's why there was so much trepidation from the R's around her exact address. Tom was still married to his former wife Buffie at the time and that would've looked pretty embarrassing.

  23. So Tom dumps his college graduate wife who stood by him thru undergrad and law school only to be dumped for a half-witted, drug dependent piece of a@@. And this is called leadership? I see why Rs are holding onto their money. If the elected officials are comfortable with this then they can fund their own campaigns.

  24. If The MCRCC thinks that they wil get a penny from me while this dork is in power they are totaly wrong.I am not alone.

    I have seen these two out and under the influance.It's not a pretty picture.

    I am surprised that no one has comments on Toms sexual preferences.He is very well known in the rainbow community.Just ask his Depauw buddies.

  25. Anon 9:10,

    I've never understood why people give to parties or committees or what have you rather than candidates. Looking over the MCGOP and MCDC earlier this year, their 2009 finances were absolutely horrible. MCGOP was completely broke, and Ballard's campaign finance disclosure revealed that it actually LOANED money ($3,000) to the MCGOP. MCGOP and Ballard's campaign also share the same office space on Penn downtown.

  26. Hey IPSE, I think you got Tom's BFF Abdul panties in a bunch. He went after you guys on his blog. What do you guys think?

  27. Someone sent us the link and we had a good laugh considering that Tom John and Christina Trexler were the main topics of the post not Abdul. We wrote it off as a failed attempt at deflection off of what's happening at PACE/OAR. We never said he had anything to do with getting the grant we wrote that sources stated that it was Christina making those claims. We have a series of emails from staffers close to the issues along with individuals in the Ballard adminstration who substantiate the facts of the post. We stand by what we wrote and unlike Mr. Shabazz we have no agenda.

  28. Only one disagree vote, and it most certainly was not mine.