New Report Details Diego Morales’s Abuse of Staff Bonuses

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INDIANAPOLIS — New reporting from the Indiana Capital Chronicle today revealed that first-year Republican Secretary of State Diego Morales has given out over $308,000 in government bonuses in under a year.

It’s a staggering amount of spot payments —- over six times as much given out as the Attorney General’s office, which had the second-highest spot bonus total at $48,000 year-to-date.

Alarmingly, some of the largest bonuses given out by Diego’s office were to a family member and his former campaign manager.

Earlier this year, reporting showed that Diego hired his own brother-in-law to a six-figure salary. Now, he’s awarded his brother-in-law two spot bonuses totaling $12,500 in just months, according to the ICC report.

The former Morales 2022 campaign manager is also one of just a few employees to receive two spot bonuses — with his totaling $5,500.

“Diego Morales simply does not care about running an ethical office,” said Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl. “First, he hired his brother-in-law and former campaign manager to cushy six-figure taxpayer-funded positions, and now he gave them almost $20,000 in bonuses in just the first 10 months on the job. His actions have broken state guidelines and awarded thousands more in taxpayer-funded bonuses than any other constitutional office. Again and again, Diego has shown he doesn’t care about rules or norms designed to protect taxpayers from abuse. It’s time Hoosiers have all the answers about the full extent of Diego’s abuse of power.”

Also featured in the reporting is that the State Personnel Department recommends that spot bonuses do not exceed $1,000. Morales has given dozens of bonuses above that amount — with the average received over $4,000.

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