FBI investigation includes Porter County highway bids

2013-12-13T10:00:00Z 2013-12-14T20:24:06Z FBI investigation includes Porter County highway bidsBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
December 13, 2013 10:00 am  • 

VALPARAISO | The FBI's investigation into Porter County government continues to widen with agents taking possession of bidding records from the Highway Department.

County Highway Department Supervisor Al Hoagland said the federal investigators requested copies of competitive bids received by the Porter County Board of Commissioners for various materials purchases in 2010 and 2011.

Hoagland did not want to elaborate on the exact information sought, but minutes from the Nov. 16, 2010, commissioner meeting lists various road materials and diesel fuel as the items put out for bid.

Hoagland said he was not subpoenaed to testify in a grand jury proceeding.

Porter County Clerk Karen Martin said earlier this week she was presented with a subpoena seeking records from her office that makes reference to a grand jury hearing on a criminal case to be held Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Hammond.

Martin said it was her understanding she could be called in to testify.

An increasing number of reports are surfacing about FBI agents showing up at various county government offices over the last couple of months seeking records and interviewing officials and staff.

Martin said the agent who showed up at her office wanted copies of conflict of interest disclosure forms designed to reveal a public servant's financial interest in contracts or purchases involving their government offices. The agent also obtained a copy of the general index listing that officials filed these forms over the past years, she said.

The FBI also took possession last month of records related to the Porter County Board of Commissioners' decision Dec. 18, 2012, to switch the provider of wellness and clinic service for county employees from HealtheACCESS to Porter Regional Hospital's CareEXPRESS, said Mike Anton, who serves as the servicing agent for the county's health plan.

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