Commissioner Adams to reimburse consultant for Indy flight

2011-05-18T19:15:00Z 2014-04-16T18:17:08Z Commissioner Adams to reimburse consultant for Indy flightBy Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Porter County Commissioner Nancy Adams said she intends to reimburse the DLZ engineering firm for a flight she accepted last week to a Republican dinner in Indianapolis.

"I goofed, and I'm sorry," Adams said.

Adams confirmed for The Times earlier this week that she and her husband accepted the free flight May 12 with the intention it would save her time over driving and not interfere with several county-related meetings she had that day and Friday.

She said she thought she was avoiding any problems by paying for her own tickets to the dinner. She said Wednesday that DLZ had yet to provide her with a dollar amount for her share of the flight.

Adams said she was unaware the county personnel policy manual prohibits elected officials from accepting and donors from offering any gift, favor, service or entertainment under circumstances in which it can be reasonably inferred the gift would influence special consideration by the official.

She said it would be helpful if newly elected officials like herself were provided early on with these types of guidelines.

County Councilman Jim Biggs, R-1st, who has served as a county commissioner, said he also was unaware of the section of the personnel policy in question.

He suggested requiring any vendor doing business with the county to sign off in acknowledgment of the policy.

But County Attorney Gwenn Rinkenberger said that could cause legal problems and suggested instead having county elected officials and department heads sign off on the policy.

Enforcement of the policy lies with entities such as the county election board, state board of accounts and even the Internal Revenue Service, she said.

DLZ, which did not return a telephone call for comment on the original story, received the largest individual share of consulting funds last year from the county at $616,499.

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