CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — FBI and state police investigators searched a
county government office in a northwestern Indiana county with a long
history of public corruption and left with several computers and boxes of
It wasn’t clear what the investigation involved. At least nine officers took
part in the search that took about four hours Tuesday at the Lake County
surveyor’s office in Crown Point, The Times of Munster reported.
County Attorney John Dull said the investigators had a court order for the
search, but didn’t give him a copy.
Surveyor George Van Til said he didn’t know what the investigation was
“This is a total surprise to me, and I’m not really aware of exactly what’s
going on or what the authorities are looking for, or at,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office didn’t immediately return a
call from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.
The surveyor’s office oversees flood control projects and has spent millions
of dollars on the county’s computerized Geographic Information System.
Van Til is a Democrat who was first elected county surveyor in 1992 and is
seeking re-election this year in the state’s second-most populous county. He
previously was a member of the Lake County Council and the Highland Town
Van Til said he couldn’t yet answer questions about the office raid.
“It’s important for everyone not to jump to any conclusions,” he said. “This
is not the first time the FBI has been in a governmental office here, nor
will it be the last time, I’m sure. Sometimes, things have come from these
visits; sometimes, not.”
Federal officials have won convictions against numerous Lake County
political figures on corruption charges in recent years, including former
East Chicago Mayor George Pabey, former U.S. Rep. and Gary City Clerk Katie
Hall and former Indiana Democratic Chairman Peter Manous.