EAST CHICAGO | Former East Chicago Public Library Director Manuel "Manny" Montalvo reached a deal with federal prosecutors Friday, pleading guilty to one of two counts of filing a false federal tax return.
Montalvo faces up to three years in prison and a maximum $100,000 fine, according to the plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond.
The deal lets his wife, Estela Montalvo, off the hook for prosecution of any federal income tax violations for the tax years 2009 through 2010, court records stated. She is not charged with any crime.
Montalvo pleaded guilty to providing false information on his 2009 federal tax return by claiming $23,282 in unreimbursed business expenses. Specifically, Montalvo claimed business expenses for use of his vehicle, travel, meals, entertainment and other expenses in his position as library director. However, the East Chicago Public Library Board already had reimbursed him for all employee-related expenses.
In addition, Montalvo admits to falsely claiming $17,063 in unreimbursed medical expenses, according to court documents.
Despite these admissions, Montalvo is suing East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland for unspecified damages, claiming he was illegally fired as library director because of his political support of former Mayor George Pabey, who is serving time in federal prison for conspiracy and embezzlement of public funds.
Montalvo claims Copeland replaced board members with those who would agree to fire him, and he lost his job March 14, 2011.