EDITORIAL: Disgraced Gary councilman should step down

2013-12-12T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Disgraced Gary councilman should step down nwitimes.com
December 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Add Gary city Councilman Ronier Scott to the long list of disgraced Northwest Indiana politicians.

The U.S. Attorney's office announced Monday that Scott signed a plea agreement in which he admits to not filing income tax returns for 2008 and 2009.

If that sounds familiar, it should. Scott is the second Gary Common Council member to be charged with income tax evasion in as many years.

Former Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 8. She was charged in October 2012 with felony tax evasion. Krusas pleaded guilty in April.

According to court records, Krusas hadn't filed tax returns since 1991 and didn't pay taxes on a $232,680 inheritance.

The crime with which Scott is charged was not as severe. He is charged with skipping only two years.

The plea agreement Scott signed shows the charges against him are both misdemeanors.

Under Indiana law, elected officials found guilty of a felony are automatically removed from office.

If the magistrate accepts Scott's plea agreement at the Dec. 20 hearing, Scott will not be automatically removed from office.

Scott should do that on his own.

Gary's children — and adults, for that matter — deserve positive role models in public office. 

 Scott owes the federal government back taxes and agrees in the plea deal to work with the Internal Revenue Service to clear up that debt. Scott owes it to the citizens of Gary to remove himself from office so the citizens can have honest representation.

Shame on Scott for not only this crime, but also for giving Lake County and his city yet another black eye.

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