BMV employee fired in IYG license plate flapMarch 19th, 2012 at 4:42 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
There’s more fallout this evening from the flap over a specialty license plate for the Indiana Youth Group. An employee at the BMV has been fired.
Graig Lubsen was a spokesman for the BMV who last week told a reporter that someone from the Senate had contacted the BMV about cancelling the youth group license plate. He told 24 Hour News 8 that he was fired the next day. Lubsen declined an on camera interview.
The specialty plate for the Indiana Youth Group was taken away along those from two other groups after a bill to eliminate 20 specialty plates died in the General Assembly. State Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) started that effort. “There is significant interest to really revamp the (specialty license plate) program,” says Merritt. But when asked if there was an effort, at least by some, to target the youth group plate, Merritt said, “Yes, because that was what the letter was focused on.”
The letter to the BMV was signed by 20 state Senators, including Merritt, who say rules were broken. But the youth group believes it was targeted because of its mission to counsel gay teenagers. Mary Byrne of the Indiana Youth Group said last week, “We’re not rolling over and letting this (happen,) we can’t.”
And while the Youth Group promises to fight back, Merritt worries that his effort to solve a bureaucratic problem has become something else. When told that it appears this isn’t about plates at all, it’s about that group, Merritt said, “Well, perception’s everything.” On that Merritt and the Indiana Youth Group are in agreement.
The board of the Indiana Youth Group will meet tomorrow night to decide its next step. Look for an announcement on that front Wednesday.