The Lake County Commissioners are continuing to take no action on contracts inked by Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. that specifically pertain to the Lake County Jail.
The appellate court said the Indiana Constitution and state law unquestionably establish a duty that the sheriff take care of the jail and its prisoners.
Lake County Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond, is the new treasurer for the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) and a member of the association's board of directors.
"It's time for the people of Lake County to have the same rights as the people of Jasper and Porter and almost every other county in the state," said Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond.
The appeals court said a 1981 Indiana law authorizing the council to take over the county's purchasing from the commissioners remains valid, even though the council waited nearly 40 years to do so.
"We just want to do what's best for our officers, what's best for our community," Hobart's police chief said. "It's hard when a county agency tells us how our officers should talk on the radio."
"I don't know what else an AR-15 is used for except for war," said Lake County Councilman Charlie Brown, D-Gary. "Why are these guns of war being sold on government property?"
"We're going to make this a mission," said Vincent Balbo, chief of the sheriff's police. "The acute need for a public safety purchase of a boat is still a priority for the sheriff's department."
The subdivisions due to be connected are: Oakwood Hills, West Long, Oak Heights, Lawndale, Sleepy Hollow, Greenhill Ranches Annex 2, and West Point Acres.
The Lake County Sheriff's Department is getting 24 new marked and undercover police vehicles as the county continues updating the department's patrol fleet.
Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said Thursday in response to Martinez's request for a restraining order: "The sheriff is taking his passion for courtroom drama to a new level."
Members of the Lake County Board of Commissioners are questioning whether a lawsuit filed against them last month by Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. over a a jail health care contract can move forward.
"We have a huge health risk out there and at this point in time we have a particular project that needs the assistance," said Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart.
Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. has filed suit against the Lake County Board of Commissioners seeking court approval to enter into contracts relating to the county Jail without consent from the commissioners.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners appears to be preparing for the possibility there will be a new county sheriff next year.
The current health care contract for the Lake County Jail expires Dec. 31. The Lake County Commissioners are not scheduled to meet again until Jan. 19.
"We can't effectively do our job at the Board of Commissioners without good, accurate information," said Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond.
Lake County’s 911 director Mark Swiderski is serving a 30-day suspension for work-related misconduct.
"As septic systems age they tend to fail," said Sam Weber, senior project manager at VS Engineering. "In this case, the need for a public sewer system is definitely considerable."
All employees and visitors inside Lake County government buildings again are required to wear face masks, and a similar mask mandate soon may apply to all school buildings in the county.
Face masks must continue being worn inside Lake County government buildings through at least May 31.
A judge has ruled the Lake County Council is entitled to control the county's purchasing and data processing departments, not the Board of County Commissioners that has managed those departments for decades.
Face masks still will be required in Lake County government buildings and Lake County Public Library branches even after Indiana's face mask mandate expires Tuesday.
The Lake County Council will not establish a purchasing agent for the sheriff's department until its legal dispute with the Lake County Commissioners is resolved.