Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Jon Snyder, shunned by some, says he accepts the 'lows' life has given him
urgent

Jon Snyder, shunned by some, says he accepts the 'lows' life has given him

  • Updated

HAMMOND — Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder was virtually alone this week when it came time to face judgment for a federal income tax violation.

No friends or family were in U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John E. Martin's courtroom Tuesday when Snyder was ordered to serve a one-year term of probation.

There are usually letters of support written by others on behalf of men convicted of some of the most heinous crimes. There is no record of such letters in Snyder’s case.

He and the attorneys told the court Tuesday that he and some relatives aren't communicating since he helped federal prosecutors convict his brother, James Snyder, former Portage mayor, in a bribery scandal.

Jon Snyder said, “I have few friends I can talk to. ... People think I’m recording them,” said Snyder, who wore a wire — a covert listening device — during conversations with James Snyder.

However, Jon Snyder, said he doesn’t regret informing on his brother. “I wanted the truth out.”

He said he accepts the "lows" that life has given him and is prepared to carry on his mission as a public office, a private businessman, a husband and a father of 10 children.

"I never betrayed that and I never will," he said.

*Matt Dogan, an attorney representing the parents of former Portage Mayor James Snyder and Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder, issued a statement Wednesday evening saying the family was unaware of Jon Snyder’s sentencing date and are grateful he was spared a prison term.

Dogan said the family believes the government forced Jon to wear a wire and testify against James. Both Jon Snyder and Benson denied Tuesday there was any coercion,

Dogan said James was acquitted of the bribery allegations that involved Jon’s role in the investigation against James. “All of the work Jon did against James was for nought,” Dogan said.

Dogan said the family hopes the convictions against James will be overturned on appeal “and the Snyders can look forward to putting their family back together.”

Jon Snyder pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to a misdemeanor count of failing to file a tax form with the IRS that he paid several thousands in 2013 to an independent contractor in connection with Jon Snyder’s private business, Shoreline Appraisals of Portage.

Defense attorney Matthew Fech said the violation was an oversight by Snyder. Snyder said his tax returns have been filed timely and accurately since he handed the job over to a specialist.

Both Fech and Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Benson said the tax violation was unconnected to Snyder’s official duties as county assessor.

Fech and Benson stood in as Snyder’s sole champions at Tuesday’s sentencing.

“I know that was a difficult decision," Benson said. "He has paid a high price for his cooperation, but he has tried to do the right thing without regard to his relationship of other family members." 

Fech said he has come to consider Snyder a friend in the two years since he was hired to defend Snyder over the tax violation.

Benson said many relatives were in the court gallery earlier this year when Jon Snyder appeared at his brother’s trial. Jon Snyder was subjected to hostile cross-examination by one of his brother’s legal team.

Benson said, in fact, Jon Snyder agree to secretly tape his brother to give his brother a chance to exonerate himself.”

Instead, a federal jury convicted James Snyder on Feb. 14 of accepting a $13,000 bribe from former Great Lakes Peterbilt owners Bob and Steve Buha in exchange for some $1.25 million in garbage truck bids. They also found him guilty of a tax obstruction charge in which he was accused of creating a sham company to hide money from the IRS.

*James Snyder's attorneys are asking a federal judge to acquit James of bribery and tax obstruction charges on grounds there was insufficient evidence for the jury to find James guilty earlier this year and that the verdict was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct. He is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 24.

Jon Snyder, 42, had no prior criminal history. He has been the Porter County assessor since his first election in 2010.

Voters re-elected an unopposed Jon Snyder last year to a new four-year term, a week after his guilty plea.

*Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version. 

*Matt Dogan, an attorney representing the parents of former Portage Mayor James Snyder and Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder, issued a statement Wednesday evening saying the family was unaware of Jon Snyder’s sentencing date and are grateful he was spared a prison term.

*James Snyder's attorneys are asking a federal judge to acquit James of bribery and tax obstruction charges on grounds there was insufficient evidence for the jury to find James guilty earlier this year and that the verdict was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct. He is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 24.

1
0
1
2
2

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Crime

Entertainment & Dining

Latest News

Local Sports

NWI Prep Sport News

Weather Alerts