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Embattled township trustee sues Lake Station over July OWI arrest

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LAKE STATION — Embattled Hobart Township Trustee Tom Silich says he is the victim of a political conspiracy to remove him from office.

Attorneys for Silich allege a political opponent manipulated the Lake Station police to arrest Silich last summer on suspicion of impaired driving.

Silich claims the plot centers around Fred Williams, a Lake Station city councilman who is running against Silich as a candidate for Hobart Township trustee in the May 3 Democratic primary.

This episode of the "Riding Shotgun with NWI Cops" series takes viewers around Munster in the midst of the holiday season.

Williams said Friday he didn’t have any hand in Silich’s arrest July 20, although he and other township employees have been concerned about Silich for some months.

Williams said he is opposing Silich’s reelection because he believes Silich has corrupted the office to serve Silich’s personal interests rather than the public interest of township residents.

Merrillville attorneys Roy Dominguez and Susan Severtson, who represent Silich, are listing more than a dozen city and Hobart township officials who Silich may sue for damages.

The allegations are contained in a four-page legal notice, which state law requires when anyone attempts to sue government officials.

It alleges the conspiracy took place the late morning hours of July 20, 2021, as Silich was leaving the trustee’s office in the 1400 block of Ridge Road to drive less than a mile to his home for lunch.

The notice claims two township employees called Williams to say Silich appeared “unstable” as he left.

It claims Williams called Lake Station Police Chief James Richardson to investigate and the chief then assigned Officer Brandon Obermiller to follow and arrest Silich.

It claims Obermiller believed Silich was driving 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit without the aid of a radar speed gun.

Obermiller stopped Silich. Police had Silich’s township-owned truck towed and required Silich to undergo a blood test for potential intoxicants.

The Lake County prosecutor’s office charged Silich with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and other traffic violations.

Dominguez said Friday he will be asking the Lake Station city judge Tuesday to dismiss the charges.

Silich claims the three members of the Hobart Township board took part in the conspiracy as well.

Mike Hannigan, a member of the township board, said Friday he hadn’t yet seen the allegations and will reserve comment until he speaks with an attorney.

Lake Station Police Chief James Richardson couldn’t be reached Friday afternoon for comment.


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