HAMMOND | A federal judge on Tuesday denied former Lake County Coroner Tom Philpot's request to be released on bond pending appeal of his criminal convictions, federal court records show.
Philpot surrendered himself to a federal prison in Michigan earlier this month to begin serving his 18-month sentence. He was convicted of theft and mail fraud related to pocketing thousands of dollars in public child support incentive funds over which he had control while serving as Lake County clerk.
Philpot asked U.S. District Court Judge James Moody to allow him to be released on bond until the outcome of his appeal.
Moody denied that request. He said the issues Philpot raised on appeal do not present a "substantial question of law or fact" that might result in a new trial or reversal of conviction, court records show.
"The argument nevertheless ignores the elephant in the room: The case against Philpot is simple at heart," Moody wrote. "The statutory language at issue is so plain that a layperson can understand it, and Philpot, an attorney, disregarded it and awarded himself supplemental pay without making any effort to request the Lake County Council to approve those payments.
"That alone is enough evidence for his conviction."
Philpot, a podiatrist and attorney, served 10 years as Lake County coroner and six years as county clerk between 1992 and 2012.