Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Commissioners lips are sealed on latest FBI visit

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Porter County Commissioners are refusing to comment on reports that agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were in their office on Tuesday morning.

All three Commissioners -- President John Evans, R-North; Jeff Good, R-Center; and Laura Shurr Blaney, D-South -- declined members of the press’ request to speak on the matter, following the advice of County Attorney Betty Knight.

Knight was also tight-lipped on Tuesday.

Reports of the FBI visiting the County Administration Building began between late 2013 and Spring 2014, when agents took documents related to the December 2012 contract between the County Commissioners and Porter Regional Hospital over the employee wellness plan, conflict of interest disclosure statements from 2007 to 2013, payroll information for the County Expo Center from 2013, bid proposals related to 2010 and 2011 contracts with the County Highway Department, and building permits for Porter Regional Hospital and its adjacent medical center.

FBI visits reported by Porter County government representatives have slowed considerably over the last 12 months as the agency seemingly shifted its focus to local city governments.

In July 2014, agents began looking into Portage Mayor James Snyder’s campaign finance reports and the Citizens for Snyder political action committee finance report from 2011.

Last September, agents entered the Porter County Auditor’s Office and obtained copies of two sales disclosures related to the Valparaiso Promenade development involving the City of Valparaiso’s Redevelopment Commission.

After nearly two years of investigating, the FBI has not yet made public any results or charges.

 

Posted 6/17/2015