The FBI is
continuing to investigate the Porter County Plan Commission. Wednesday
agents inquired as to what kind of computer equipment it uses.
County ITS Director
Sharon Lippens told the Chesterton Tribune this morning that the FBI
visited her office mid-afternoon escorted by Plan Commission Executive
Director Robert Thompson.
(Thompson) what kind of server his office ran on. He didn’t know so that is
why they came and asked me in my department. They asked for the serial
number, the make and model of the server,” Lippens said. “That’s all what
Lippens said the
FBI did not tell her why they wanted the information.
Thompson told the
Tribune “no comment” when asked about Wednesday’s events.
FBI agents also
visited the Plan Commission office March 7 and March 10 to take copies of
building permits issued for Porter Regional Hospital and the 62,000 sq. ft.
medical office building connected to it owned by Sanders Trust.
At that time
Thompson confirmed the FBI visits but would not give further comment.
permits have played a part in the County Council’s ongoing discussion of a
10-year tax abatement for the new hospital located at Ind. 49 and U.S. 6 in
member Jim Biggs, R-1st, presented to the press printed copies of building
permits that the County Assessor’s Office had on file that indicated Porter
Hospital LLC as the property owner for both the hospital and medical office
handwritten permits for the buildings have reportedly been missing from the
Plan Commission office, Biggs said, and he’s urged closer scrutiny on the
Council’s part when considering the abatement.
have reported numerous visits by the FBI since November. Agents have taken
documents related to the December 2012 contract between Porter County 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.