Grand jury joins E.C. library investigation

2011-03-25T18:00:00Z 2011-04-26T14:00:12Z Grand jury joins E.C. library investigationBy Steve Zabroski Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 25, 2011 6:00 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | A federal grand jury has joined the investigation into reports that computerized records of the East Chicago Public Library turned up missing after library trustees fired the library's director last week.

Library officials on Thursday received a subpoena from U.S. Attorney David Capp ordering testimony before the specially convened grand jury in Hammond on April 6.

Specifically sought through the subpoena are copies of video surveillance recordings at the main library branch from 11:30 a.m. March 16 through 4 p.m. March 17.

The Library Board voted shortly after 5 p.m. March 16 to fire Library Director Manuel "Manny" Montalvo and void the contracts of two attorneys representing the board.

At 2:30 p.m. March 17, library employees called police to report that computer hard drives containing library information were missing.

Besides a memory drive from the library's main system in the computer room, the hard drive from the computer inside the office of the library director also was reported missing to police.

The federal subpoena also seeks copies of library regulations concerning employee computer use, and policies for the removal of library-owned computer equipment from library premises.

A roster of employees working at the 2401 E. Columbus Drive main library, their job titles, home addresses and telephone numbers also is sought through the subpoena.

Library officials said Friday the hard drive from the library's computer room inexplicably turned up back in its usual location several days after its absence was noted last week by Indiana State Police assisting in the investigation.

The whereabouts of the hard drive from the computer inside the library director's office remain unknown, library officials said.

Montalvo's personal assets were frozen in Lake Circuit Court this week through a lawsuit filed by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller after a state audit of library finances suggested that Montalvo wrongly collected more than $15,000 from the library in travel, lodging, food and vehicle costs.

Under terms of the subpoena, Library Director Charles Moore, hired last week by trustees to replace Montalvo, has a choice of sending the demanded materials by certified mail to the Hammond federal courthouse, or appearing personally before the grand jury at 10 a.m. April 6.

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