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Randy Palmateer

Randy Palmateer, business manager of the Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council

A local union leader won't face charges following a menu-throwing incident April 6 at a Merrillville restaurant.

Randy Palmateer, 39, of St. John, declined to comment Thursday on special prosecuting attorney Stanley Levco's decision to not proceed with battery charges.

In a news release, Levco said that based on witness statements it was clear Palmateer tossed a menu, striking Christopher Meyers, of Crown Point, and causing him injury. 

"What is not clear is whether Mr. Palmateer did so with the intent to strike Mr. Meyers or whether it was an accident," Levco said.

Meyers, a former planning director for the cities of Gary and Crown Point and currently an employee for the county auditor's office, claims he suffered a damaged retina and blurry vision when he was struck in the face with a leather-bound menu April 6 at Gino's Steakhouse. He said it happened during a confrontation with Palmateer, business manager of the Northwest Indiana Building and Trades Council.

Merrillville attorney Paul Stracci, who represents Palmateer, previously said the complaint was politically motivated.

Stracci released a brief statement Thursday.

"Mr. Palmateer is pleased reason has prevailed. The protective order Mr. Meyers filed was dismissed and no charges will be filed against Mr. Palmateer," Stracci said. 

Stracci also said a protective order hearing scheduled for June 6 had been dismissed prior to the hearing date. 

Meyers complained to Merrillville police who submitted a report to the prosecutor recommending the filing of the lesser charge of misdemeanor battery.

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter called for a special prosecutor in April, saying he wanted to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest between himself and Palmateer, who has close ties to county and municipal elected officials.

Levco has served as a special prosecutor in prior local criminal cases.

Attempts to reach Meyers' attorney Roy Dominguez were unsuccessful. 

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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