Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lake County Councilwoman Retracts Job Offer Claim Made By McDermott To Vote For Lake County Income Tax Increase

Lake County Councilwoman Christine Cid went on a WJOB radio talk show Friday morning and accused Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott of offering her a job if she would vote for a 1.5% local income tax after he was a guest on the show and accused her of angling for a new job by voting against the income tax increase. Cid later apologized to that same WJOB radio audience and retracted her explosive allegation against McDermott, who is also the Lake County Democratic Party Chairman. "McDermott did not offer me a job of any kind. I said that facetiously, to hurt him. It's probably hurting me now. It was wrong, and I apologize," Cid said Friday afternoon.

McDermott sounded like a bit like of a bully when he went to the airwaves to personally attack Cid, who also serves as a clerk in the County Treasurer's office, a job she will legally be required to give up next year when a new law takes effect requiring certain government employees from sitting on the councils which serve as fiscal bodies for the governmental entity that employs them. McDermott had repeatedly accused her of illegally serving on the council when he accused her of using her no vote on the tax increase that passed at Monday's council meeting as just a way of angling for a new job. That prompted Cid to call into the radio show and accuse McDermott of offering her a job if she would vote for the tax increase. McDermott said Cid only got the job she holds because of her uncle, the late Bob Stiglich, the former Lake Co Democratic Party chairman who also served as county auditor and sheriff in Lake County. McDermott returned to the radio station to defend himself after Cid made the allegation.  "I almost wrecked my car," he said when he heard her make the allegation on his car radio.

This news comes after the Lake Co. Commissioners failed to veto the local income tax approved earlier in the week by the council, which had been expected to veto the tax increase. Two Democratic members of the county commission who had been expected to support a veto motion failed to do so at a meeting yesterday. "Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, made five motions to veto a package of ordinances that imposes a 1.5 percent tax on the personal income of all county residents and out-of-state residents working in Lake County," the Northwest Indiana Times Bill Dolan reported. "Five times the veto requests died for lack of support from Commissioners Mike Repay, D-Hammond, and Roosevelt Allen, D-Gary, who sat silently through most of the meeting." Dolan said the failed veto motion stunned both proponents and opponents of the tax increase. "Who got to you, Repay?" shouted St. John Republican activist Joe Hero.

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