Judge asked to show leniency toward Krusas

2013-12-31T20:30:00Z 2013-12-31T21:10:24Z Judge asked to show leniency toward KrusasElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com
December 31, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

GARY | A wave of letters supporting indicted former Gary Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas was filed Tuesday, including one from Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

Krusas is asking a federal judge to sentence her to probation or home detention, according to a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday by Krusas' attorney.

Krusas, 70, pleaded guilty in April to a federal charge of tax evasion. She is accused of failing to file tax returns since 1991 and not paying taxes on a $232,680 inheritance that she received in 2009 and 2010. Krusas, who had been part of the Gary City Council since 2000, resigned in April.

Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Krusas to 12 to 18 months in prison. The sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors was critical of Krusas and described her actions as hypocritical.

"At the same time she was ignoring the IRS, she was also doling out the city of Gary's dollars, millions of which were acquired through federal taxes," the memorandum stated.

In Tuesday's memorandum, Krusas' attorney argues that chronic depression played a role in why Krusas didn't file tax returns. She has spent the past couple of months undergoing medical treatments for cancer.

Freeman-Wilson wrote in her letter that Krusas undertook many causes that were sometimes unpopular for the good of the community. She asks a judge to consider Krusas' work on the council when he chooses a sentence. 

"There are times when we engage in activities that do not truly reflect our character or life's work," Freeman-Wilson wrote. "I believe that the circumstances that bring Marilyn before this court illustrate this fact."

Council members Kyle Allen, Roy Pratt and Mary Brown submitted letters of character. Officials from the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, Gary Jet Center and the Gary Chamber of Commerce also submitted letters in support of Krusas. 

Gary resident Mildred Shannon said she didn't always agree with Krusas but thought the former councilwoman conducted herself professionally. 

"At all times, she represented her constitutes to the best of her knowledge and her ability," Shannon wrote. "Therefore, when Marilyn comes before the court for sentencing, I ask you Judge to consider these attributes as reasons for leniency."

A sentencing hearing in the case has been delayed three times. Krusas is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 8.

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