Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Figure Settles In East Chicago Corruption Case

With the promise to cooperate in the corruption case against former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick and his top associates, Joel Markovich, a former president of the Lake County Council and East Chicago contractor, has entered into a settlement agreement with Attorney General Steve Carter in the government's RICO case. Markovich was joined by Pedro Perras, a city engineer. Both were earlier imprisoned for their roles in the 1999 sidewalks-for-votes scandal.

The Attorney General has recovered $1.3 million from the settlements he has reached to date in the RICO case. According to the Northwest Indiana Times' Joe Carlson, Carter's office plans to go to trial against just three of the defendants in the case, including Pastrick and his top two aides, Jim Fyfe and Timothy Raykovich. The case may become an issue in this year's election for Attorney General. Democratic candidate Linda Pence criticized Carter and her opponent, Chief Deputy Attorney General Greg Zoeller, for their handling of the RICO when she announced her candidacy a few weeks back. Pence neglected at the time to disclose she had personally represented one of the defendants in the case, a city contractor, which settled last year out of court.

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