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Thomas Kirsch II

U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II speaks to the news media following the sentencing of former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich on Tuesday in Hammond.

Somewhat dulled by the roar of former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich's massive prison sentence and related scandals this week was a firm promise by the U.S. attorney to doggedly pursue more Region public corruption cases.

It's just the sort of news that should keep nervous fires burning in the guts of any guilty, but not yet indicted, parties.

Just days after his ceremonial investiture into office, new Hammond-based U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II sat through Buncich's six-hour sentencing hearing Tuesday.

Immediately following Judge James Moody handing down a 15-plus-year prison sentence to Buncich, Kirsch called a press conference relating welcome news to anyone who thirsts for clean and honest government.

In his press conference, Kirsch noted he was establishing a task force in his office — no doubt comprised of both prosecutors and federal agents — to continue a longstanding tradition of weeding out public corruption.

On Wednesday, we told readers the Buncich prison sentence — one of the longest in a generation for Region public corruption defendants — should carry an appropriate level of deterrence.

Though we don't know all the details, Kirsch’s task force promise should carry equal weight of deterrence for any Region elected officials bent on furthering crimes of personal enrichment through their offices.

In the Buncich bribery case alone, court testimony and statements from federal prosecutors indicate more parties remain under the federal microscope in potentially related bribery scandals.

Former Merrillville Town Councilman Tom Goralczyk was mentioned during testimony in Buncich's August criminal trial as being connected to the federal bribery probe.

In November, we learned Goralczyk was indicted and signed a plea agreement, admitting to felony guilt in the matter.

Any other public officials — named and yet unnamed — in the bribery case should be very worried.

And taxpayers should take solace in a U.S. attorney's office that continues to prove an insatiable desire to clean up what stains our Region political scene.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Local News Editor Marc Chase, Lake County Editor Crista Zivanovic, Porter/LaPorte County Editor Doug Ross and Deputy Local Editor Erin Orr.