FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): There are now questions on whether the man in charge of Fort Wayne’s economic development agency improperly lobbied on behalf of a mayoral candidate.
Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. CEO Eric Doden is being criticized for taking a trip to Indianapolis with Fort Wayne mayoral candidate Tim Smith to meet with some influential people. Doden tells our Partners in News at ABC 21 it was nothing unusual:
“If a key individual or any individual that’s a client asks me to do them a favor of connecting them to people, that’s my job,” Doden says. “I connect them, what they discuss and talk about is up to them.”
But Dr. John Crawford, Smith’s opponent for the Republican nomination in next year’s election, says the trip was inappropriate because it looks like favoritism, adding that at the very least it would cause Democrats working for GFW to raise questions about fairness.
Smith says he got no preferential treatment. Doden says he would’ve done the same thing for Crawford and Democratic Mayor Tom Henry, had they asked.