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Wayne Fontana blasts Republicans on sale of Western Penitentiary

State Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-42) blasted Republican lawmakers in his February newsletter for holding up a bill needed to approve the sale of state property.

After closing in 2017, the former Western Penitentiary building in Marshall-Shadeland has remained vacant and can’t be sold until the state legislature approves a bill introduced last year by Fontana to authorize a competitive bidding process.

Fontana claims Republicans are stalling the bill simply so they can leverage it against other legislative goals.

Meanwhile, he says the commonwealth is missing out on the revenue generated by selling the property, which he claims is worth more than $4 million.

“The reality is that this bill is being held hostage simply because a Democrat has authored it,” Fontana said. “Republican leadership has decided to use this facility to play politics.”

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