The FBI returned to
the Porter County Information Technologies Department Monday to collect
computer data pertaining to the plan commission.
IT Director Sharon
Lippens confirmed the presence of FBI agents in her office from about 10
a.m. to about noon on Monday.
“They came in and
said, ‘We need access to whatever the Plan Commission has access to.’ I
didn’t ask why and they didn’t tell me,” Lippens told the Chesterton
Tribune this morning.
Lippens said the
FBI did not tell her what data they were searching for but that she gave
them the access they requested. The Plan Commission computer servers hold
electronic copies of issued building permits.
The FBI brought in
their own hard drive to download the information to and were once again
brought in by Plan Commission Executive Director Robert Thompson, Lippens
Thompson took FBI
agents to the IT Department last Wednesday to ask Lippens specific details
on the Plan Commission’s computer server such as the serial number, the make
declined to comment to avoid impeding the investigation.
He did say earlier
this month that the FBI has entered his office on more than one occasion
asking for copies of the building permits for Porter Regional Hospital and
the 60,000 sq. ft. medical office building attached to it.
versions of the permits are available, the original handwritten copies for
the two buildings have reportedly gone missing from the plan commission
The hospital is
located in Liberty Twp. on the northwest corner of Ind. 49 and U.S. 6.
have reported numerous visits by the FBI since November.
The bureau 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.