Guilty plea by former Michigan City-area township official

2013-10-22T12:45:00Z 2013-10-23T15:01:07Z Guilty plea by former Michigan City-area township officialStan Maddux Times Correspondent
October 22, 2013 12:45 pm  • 

LAPORTE | Jury selection was about to begin Tuesday when a former longtime elected official from the Michigan City area pleaded guilty to stealing thousands in tax dollars.

A similar theft case against the defendant's son is still pending.

Mary Lombard in LaPorte Superior Court 4 agreed to be convicted of Class A misdemeanor conversion.

Lombard, the former Michigan Township trustee, will not receive any time in jail or probation.

She will have to pay back to the township an amount that has not been decided.

LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Dave Ambers said the figure will be decided by a civil suit brought against Lombard by the Indiana attorney general's office that's still pending.

He said that case was stalled until the conclusion of the criminal matter.

"I imagine that will now start making its way through the system," Ambers said.

Originally, she could have faced an up to eight-year sentence on each of two Class D felony official misconduct charges had the case gone to trial.

Mary Lombard was township trustee for more than 20 years until the end of 2010.

The charges stem from an Indiana State Board of Accounts audit that showed Lombard allegedly misspent more than $42,000 in township funds from 2007 to 2010.

Specifically, the audit found that Lombard overpaid her salary, gave bonuses to herself and some township employees without approval by the township board and reimbursed herself for personal expenses.

Lombard admitted guilt only to the dollars used to increase longevity pay to her employees in 2010 without prior board approval, said Ambers.

Her son, Bart Lombard is accused of collecting over $87,000 in salary overpayments and unauthorized bonuses during that same time period.

Ambers said jury selection was about to begin for the trial when the plea agreement was struck.

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