PORTAGE — Mayor James Snyder's 2017 campaign finance report isn't yet telling from whom he raised an excess of $91,000 last year or where he spent it. His treasurer blames himself.
The report, filed Wednesday with the Porter County Election Office, is incomplete. The lone details indicate he raised and spent approximately $91,000 last year and that he ended the year more than $19,000 in debt, including a $10,000 debt to John Cortina, his co-defendant in a federal public corruption case.
Ken Taylor, Snyder's treasurer, said the bare bones report was filed Wednesday because he has been having some health issues and has been working to re-create records necessary to itemize both expenditures and contributions in the report. Taylor said, under state law, it is better to file an incomplete report and then file an amended report. He said he intends to file the full report by next Wednesday.
According to the information filed, Snyder owes Cortina $10,000. Taylor said that was a carryover loan from the previous year. Snyder's 2016 report does indicate he borrowed $10,000 from Cortina on Jan. 28, 2016, just a day before he made a $10,000 payment to his then-defense attorney, now U.S. attorney, Thomas Kirsch II. In addition, Cortina made a $2,000 direct donation to Snyder on Jan. 28, 2016.
Snyder is accused of accepting a $12,000 bribe from Cortina on the condition Cortina's company be put on the city's towing list. The two were indicted in November 2016. Their trial is scheduled to begin in Hammond federal court June 4.
Taylor said the contributions total of $91,391 and the expenditure total of $91,385 should not be more than a few hundred dollars off the completed report based on bank balances and that his ending balance of $1,165 reflects the committee's bank account balance. In 2016 Snyder raised in excess of $136,000.
Snyder also did not sign the report. Taylor said he will sign the amended report.