Van Til demands witness statements from the feds

2013-06-21T13:56:00Z 2013-12-28T21:27:42Z Van Til demands witness statements from the fedsMarc Chase, (219) 662-5330
June 21, 2013 1:56 pm  • 

HAMMOND | Embattled Lake County Surveyor George Van Til is trying to compel federal prosecutors to give him an advance look at witness statements made against him in his criminal corruption case.

Van Til's attorney, Scott King, filed a motion in Hammond federal court Friday, asking a judge to direct prosecutors to hand over the statements in a timely fashion.

King said prosecutors often wait until just before trial to share such evidence.

But King said he can't mount an effective defense for his client "if we get that material the Friday before trial starts."

Prosecutors said Van Til is charged with federal counts of fraud for using county employees — on county time and using county facilities — to do political campaign work. They said he also is charged with obstruction of justice for paying an employee to switch out the hard drive of a surveyor's office computer in an effort to conceal evidence.

King's Friday motion indicates the government shared a "substantial number of documents" with the defense earlier this month, but "did not turn over all witness statements."

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Hammond did not immediately return calls by The Times Friday afternoon seeking comment. The office has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

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