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Judges concerned about Marion County Justice Center as campus proves to be 'hazardous'

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 22:17:33-04

MARION CO. — Judges are highlighting the concerns they have when it comes to potentially hazardous conditions at the site of the proposed Marion County Justice Center.

The location of the proposed Justice Center was once home to a gas manufacturing plant. And last month, RTV6 found a report that listed 14 different chemicals found on the site.

The judge's concerns were headline news in the latest edition of the Indiana Lawyer. Currently, toxins like PCB's and materials believed to be carcinogenic are being removed from the 140-acre campus. However, Judge Mark Stoner is skeptical about a stream that will be incorporated in the final design that an expert says will have to be labeled 'hazardous.'

"I'm not comfortable with that," Judge Stoner said. "I thought we were going to be able to remediate not only the building that the courts are in but all the buildings on campus and that stream as well."

Attorney Robert Hammerle thought Andy Mallon's comments were inappropriate. Mallon was quoted as calling a handful of judges 'ignorant' for questioning the site preparation.

Mallon is the mayor's representative for the project. In a letter to Marion County judges, Hammerle called for Mallon to be removed from the project, and to resign from the Marion County Judicial Selection Committee.

Andy Mallon told RTV6 by telephone that he is not resigning from anything and addressed some of the statements in Hammerle's letter.

"I have never spoken to Mr. Hammerle in my life. My team and I would be more than happy to explain the lengths we are going to eliminate any potential health risks at the site. Hammerle is unmoved."

"They are putting something down there, and they are putting people's health at risk. Ask Mr. Mallon would he put his office down there?" Hammerle asked. "Will he tell the mayor to put his office down there? Will he take his kids to swim at Pleasant Run down there. Will he catch fish and cook fish that they catch out of Pleasant Run? No, you know? Because it is poisonous. Yet they want individuals to operate there."

In his statement, Mallon added:

"Every expert that has looked at this site and out remediation plans has come to the same conclusion — when the city executes its designs as planned, there will be no unreasonable health risks from using the site as intended."

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