Lake County Jail bid opening

Med-Staff's Robert Malizzo, left, and Lake County Attorney John Dull, right, discuss Med-Staff's proposal to take over medical care in the Lake County Jail in this October 2016 file photo.

HOBART — A former Hobart mayor who died Thursday at age 75 years old is remembered for his years of work in Northwest Indiana. 

Robert “Bob” Malizzo served as mayor of Hobart from 1992 to 1996. 

Lt. John Reitz of the Hobart Fire Department posted a public statement remembering Malizzo's career in Lake County.

“We lost a former mayor of Hobart yesterday, Mr. Robert Malizzo,” Reitz said. “Bob played an integral role in the annexation process that expanded our great city to the south in the early '90s, and with that, providing full-time fire protection to the citizens in that area.”

Malizzo graduated from Gary Edison High School in 1963 and went on to serve in the U.S. Army. Malizzo also served the city of Gary and worked with the Lake County Sheriff's Department from 1967 to 1980.

Malizzo served as CEO of Hobart-based Med-Staff Inc., the Lake County Jail's medical provider from 2007 to 2012, under former Sheriff Roy Dominguez.

When Sheriff John Buncich chose another medical care vendor in January 2012, Malizzo filed a lawsuit alleging that Buncich had bumped Med-Staff in retaliation for Malizzo's refusal to support Buncich for his election. The lawsuit was later dropped. 

Malizzo and his wife were also patient advocates with the Center for Medicare and Medical Services and other organizations.

“What some people don’t realize is that Bob was a dedicated family man,” Reitz said. “When his daughter passed away unexpectedly, he and his family joined a hospital safety review board to assure nobody had to again endure what he did. ... Bob was a dedicated servant not only to the people of Hobart, but to Lake County and beyond.”

In addition to his work in medical services, Malizzo owned a cable installation service and a security business.

Malizzo is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 52 years and daughter, Kristina Chavez, of Hobart, and grandchildren, Brianna Ballog and Olivia Ballog, Adrian Chavez and Mia Chavez and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Friends of Malizzo are welcome to attend visitation from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Burns Funeral Home, 701 E. 7th St. in Hobart. His interment will be at Calumet Park Cemetery.

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Breaking News/Crime Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.