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Recorder Mike Brown

Lake County Recorder Mike Brown gives remarks after he gets sworn into his second term at the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point in 2016.

The evidence Lake County Recorder Mike Brown engaged in a sexual affair with a subordinate government worker — with some interludes occurring within his actual government center office — is becoming too clear, and embarrassing, to ignore.

Brown owes it to his county government colleagues — and most importantly Lake County residents — to resign and stop dragging the rest of us through the embarrassment of his indiscretions.

Earlier this week, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter met with members of The Times staff, explaining his office would not be filing criminal charges against Brown tied to the sexual encounters.

That decision followed an independent investigation by Indiana State Police, which also noted Brown likely didn't commit any crimes in the matter.

However, the investigation also concluded Brown carried on a sexual relationship with a married subordinate.

Police and prosecutors both concluded there's enough evidence that Brown engaged in the sexual relationship with Estela Montalvo, a former part-time office worker who hoped to become a full-time employee.

Attorneys for Montalvo are pushing forward with a civil lawsuit against Brown, alleging he sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment.

At the heart of Montalvo's allegations is a premise she expected to solidify and advance her employment through the sexual relationship.

Regardless of any consensual nature of the relationship, it's becoming clear Brown crossed a line of workplace propriety. And he did so while overseeing a taxpayer-funded office to which voters entrusted him.

Carter noted Brown has denied that any sexual encounter of any kind occurred. Brown has not returned Times calls seeking comment.

The evidence compiled by both police and prosecutors indicates Brown is lying.

Having an affair on government time or in a government office may not be a crime.

But it’s an untenable embarrassment none of us should tolerate.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.