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Feds won't confirm if Evans is still under investigation
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Feds won't confirm if Evans is still under investigation

VALPARAISO — Federal officials will not say whether Porter County Board of Commissioners President John Evans remains a target of an investigation.

The Porter County Council inquired about the status of the case after Evans, a Republican, approached the council earlier this month and asked to be reimbursed for $5,000 in legal fees associated with the investigation.

The law allows for elected officials to be reimbursed, but only if it is confirmed the investigation is over and no indictment is coming, Council Attorney Harold Harper has said.

Harper confirmed Wednesday that he spoke with David Capp, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, who said a letter to the council will be forthcoming.

When contacted by Wednesday by The Times for comment, Evans said, "It is my understanding and confirmed by my attorney at the outset of the investigation that I was indeed the target. What they are not confirming is whether or not the investigation is over, but then again I'm told they never do."

Porter County Council President Dan Whitten said Wednesday he has seen this type of confirmation for clients he has represented in his private legal practice.

Evans is entitled to the reimbursement, he said, but not until there is confirmation the investigation is over.

"At this point, we are sort of in a holding pattern," he said.

Evans, whose term as a commissioner expires at the year's end, was honored Tuesday for 40 years of service to county government in that department and with the coroner's office.

State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, presented Evans with Distinguished Hoosier recognition.

Republican Portage Mayor James Snyder was indicted last month on federal counts of felony bribery, extortion and tax dodging, which carry long prison terms if he is convicted. He pleaded not guilty. 

Snyder requested reimbursement of his legal fees prior to his indictment.

The Porter County Council will not meet again unit January.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice 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.

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