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PORTAGE — A special judge Monday lifted a 15-day probation revocation hold a few days early for Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington, but Washington remains in custody pending a Tuesday hearing on the underlying criminal case.

Porter County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Thode ordered Washington released on his own recognizance in the alleged revocation.

The judge also scheduled a Feb. 12 hearing to check on the status of the case rather than hearing evidence in the alleged revocation.

Defense attorney Mark Gruenhagen, who sat alongside a shackled Washington, argued in favor of delaying final action on the revocation until the underlying criminal case is resolved.

Washington, 44, is accused of battering and confining his 23-year-old cousin during a domestic dispute the night of Dec. 5 at the councilman's home in Merrillville.

Prosecutors claim Washington violated his probation because of the new charges.

Washington had been convicted last December of misdemeanor battery and invasion of privacy on allegations of attacking his wife and a female employee Dec. 3, 2015, at his home. He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanors and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for probation.

Special Prosecutor Stanley Levco, who also handled the earlier case against Washington, voiced interest Monday in proceeding with the revocation accusations even if Washington is cleared of the underlying criminal case.

Gruenhagen sought to have Washington released on his own recognizance, saying he likely faces a significant bond on the criminal end of the case.

He said Washington has been compliant in all other ways with his probation, which was one or two days away from ending when the new allegations were filed.

Thode also agreed Monday to have Porter County take over probation responsibilities in the case to avoid potential conflicts with Lake County.


Porter/LaPorte county reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.