The FBI would now
appear to be interested in the construction of the new Porter Regional
Hospital and the 60,000-square foot medical office building built on
On Friday and again
on Monday, FBI agents entered the Porter County Administration Building and
requested copies of the building permits for those two structures.
“I will simply say
that I can confirm the FBI was in here Friday afternoon and again on Monday
morning,” Plan Commission Executive Director Robert Thompson told the
Chesterton Tribune today. “They took copies of building permits for both
Porter Regional Hospital and for the medical office building. I will give no
Those records have
also recently received scrutiny from members of the Porter County Council as
it works to understand the details of a 10-year tax abatement granted to
Porter Regional Hospital.
member Jim Biggs, R-1st, held a press conference last week where he
expressed concern about the medical office building, contesting that it
should not be included as part of the abatement because the building is
owned by someone other than the hospital: The Sanders Trust of Birmingham,
Ala. That firm has not approached the council to request an abatement, Biggs
said at the time.
Some of the
materials Biggs shared with the media were in fact the building permits for
both facilities. Both indicate only Porter Hospital LLC as the property
owner and both were applied for by The Robins and Morton Group of
The Robins and
Morton Group was contracted for construction work on the two structures.
The permit for the
hospital was issued in August 2010 while the one for the office building was
issued in September 2011 by the Porter County Planning Office.
This is the second
reported instance where the FBI has seized Porter County government
documents relating to Porter Regional Hospital.
On the first
occasion, the FBI requested documents related to the contract for clinical
services between Porter County Commissioners and the hospital signed in
December 2012 as part of the county’s employee health plan. FBI agents
obtained those documents in November from the Anton Insurance Agency, which
services the plan.
Mike Anton of Anton
Insurance said at the time that the FBI approached him after someone had
suggested to federal investigators that there was something questionable
about the contract. Anton, however, said that there is nothing to hide as
the deal was completely transparent and above board.
In December, an FBI
agent turned up at the Porter County Clerk’s office and took miscellaneous
records containing conflict of interest disclosure statements filed within
the municipal units of the county from 2007 and 2013.
Highway Supervisor Al Hoagland said the FBI came to his department in
November and gathered copies of various bid proposals from projects done in
2010 and 2011.