The FBI popped into
the Porter County Auditor’s Office on Wednesday, seeking documents related
to the county’s common health insurance plan, Auditor Vicki Urbanik told the
Chesterton Tribune today.
requested documents related to the plan offered to county employees,”
Urbanik’s staff was
able to provide the FBI with some of the documents on the spot--a couple of
plan handbooks, for instance--but needed time to print some digital files as
well as to copy other material. Urbanik said that she planned to
hand-deliver those additional documents to the FBI’s Merrillville office
this afternoon, as she was already going to be in the neighborhood for a
Urbanik noted that
the Auditor’s Office is the repository and clearing house for all of the
county’s financial records and as such is the obvious place for an FBI agent
to visit when he or she wants information on Porter County’s ways and means.
“My office is not being investigated,” she said. “I want to make it clear my
office is not the subject of any investigation. The Auditor’s Office is the
record keeper of the county’s financial documents, so it makes sense for the
FBI to come to us for any records they’re interested in. But their request
for documents in no way, shape, or form reflects on this office.”
The FBI last
visited a county office--the Auditor’s Office, as it happens--on Aug. 10.
About a week before that, on Aug. 4, the FBI had visited the Assessor’s
Office to request documents related to appeals of commercial properties
between 2012 and 2013.
was also informed that the FBI was seen entering the Porter County
Commissioners’ offices. But no Commissioner ever confirmed that report.
investigation--if that’s what it is--began--so far as anyone knows--in
November 2013, when agents sought documents related to the County
Commissioners’ employee wellness contract with Porter Regional Hospital,
signed in December 2012.
Since then the FBI
has obtained conflict of interest disclosure statements from 2007 to 2013;
payroll information for the County Expo Center from 2013; bid proposals for
2010 and 2011 contracts with the County Highway Department; and building
permits for Porter Regional Hospital and the adjacent medical center.
In July 2014, the
FBI obtained Portage Mayor James Snyder’s campaign finance reports and the
Citizens for Snyder political action committee’s 2011 finance report.
And in September
2014, the FBI obtained copies of two sales disclosures related to the
Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission’s Promenade project.
The FBI has made no
statement regarding its interest in Porter County and has declined to
comment on the document requests.