MERRILLVILLE | A grand jury indicted a former Merrillville town councilman on a charge of forgery.
Terrell Taylor, 49, was indicted Thursday on one Class C felony count. The criminal charge stemmed from an investigation into his business, Taylor Development Corp., and was not related to anything he did on the Town Council, said Indiana State Police spokeswoman Ann Wojas.
Taylor served as a Town Council member between 2004 and 2008. He made history in 2003 by becoming one of Merrillville's first two African-American Town Council members, but he lost his re-election bid in 2007 by a handful of votes to Andy Sylwestrowicz, the council member he had originally unseated in the Democratic primary.
He also helped establish the Merrillville Education Foundation in 1992, became its first president and has served as chairman of the town's Environmental Affairs Committee. He is president and CEO of the Merrillville-based contracting company Taylor Development Corp.
Town officials suspected Taylor had forged business documents in May 2013 and asked the state police to investigate, Wojas said. Merrillville police did not handle the investigation to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, she said.
"They did the right thing," she said.
After reviewing what Indiana State Police Detective Chris Campione found during his investigation, a grand jury in Crown Point decided Taylor should be charged with a Class C felony. If convicted, he could face a sentence of between two to eight years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Taylor turned himself into the Lake County Jail on Friday and was released after he posted bail.