Chesterton Tribune

 

 

FBI returns to county, eyes Portage Mayor

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

After being quiet for more than three months, the FBI returned to the Porter County Administration Building on Monday and obtained campaign finance reports for Portage Mayor James Snyder.

According to County Voters Registration Republican Director Sundae Schoon, agents entered the Voters Registration Office, identified themselves to her and asked for copies of Snyder’s campaign finance reports and his Citizens for Snyder political action committee’s report from 2011.

Schoon said she did not recall the exact time the FBI was in her office but they were there in the afternoon and stayed for about 10 minutes as she complied with the request to make copies. She said the agents did not indicate what interest they had in the reports.

Snyder emailed the following comment to the Chesterton Tribune before deadline today: “I have been advised that government agents have asked to review my campaign-finance records. These records are now, and have always been, available to the public on the Internet. In fact, to my knowledge, I was the first public official in Porter County to post such records in a public forum. My campaign has done nothing wrong, and we look forward to this matter being wrapped up as expeditiously as possible.”

Since November, numerous County offices have reported visits by FBI agents collecting information.

Agents were in the Porter County Auditor’s office in April and obtained payroll records for the Expo Center from 2013.

In March, agents collected copies of building permits for Porter Regional Hospital and its adjoining medical center from the Porter County Plan Commission. They also downloaded records from the Plan Commission office from the County’s computer server in the IT office.

In addition, the bureau so far has taken documents related to the December 2012 contract between the County Commissioners and Porter Hospital for clinical services in the County’s Employee Health Plan, conflict of interest disclosure statements filed in the County Clerk’s office from 2007 to 2013, and project bid proposals related to 2010 and 2011 contracts with the County Highway Department.

 

 

Posted 7/22/2014