CROWN POINT — A former St. John police commander charged with sexual battery and ghost payrolling could be close to a non-trial resolution, but his attorney asked Wednesday for a 24th continuance.

Michael S. Fryzel, 56, also has been named in three civil lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond on behalf of three women who worked at the St. John Police Department and alleged he sexually harassed them.

The town recently settled the last of the three suits.

The Times learned through records requests that the town's insurance carrier paid a total of $202,000 to settle two of the suits. The settlement amount in the third case has not been publicly released.

Fryzel, who also once served as a town councilman, has pleaded not guilty in Lake Criminal Court to sexual battery, official misconduct and theft charges alleging he received $5,356.97 in pay from 2011 to 2015 for hours he didn't work.

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His defense attorney, Steven Mullins, told Lake Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray he recently met with Lake County First Deputy Prosecutor Barb McConnell in an effort to resolve Fryzel's criminal case and was waiting for another deputy to complete some follow-up.

Mullins asked that Fryzel's next hearing be set for Jan. 7.

"That will give us enough time to have everything ready," he said.

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