Krieg Calls for Feds to Investigate McDermott Campaign Finance Issues

26 Nov

by Ken Davidson

In the wake of recent FBI activity in Lake Station, political activist and former county surveyor candidate Eric Krieg planned to call on the Lake County Board of Elections to refer Mayor Thomas McDermott’s campaign finance reports to the office of United States Attorney David Capp. Krieg will have to wait until the Board meets in December to present his allegations as this month’s meeting was cancelled.  In a statement provided to the press prior to the planned meeting, Krieg compared McDermott’s payments to his wife with the recent conviction of Former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. He outlines several allegations of impropriety in the reports including:

-Payments to Kelly Consulting, Inc. of over $300,000.  The payments ranging from $3,000-$4,000 per month span a period of over ten years. Krieg alleges that Kelly Consulting, Inc. is owned by Marissa McDermott and that Indiana law requires a written contract on file with the election board in order to pay family members for campaign services;

-a one time consulting fee paid to David Woerpel. This payment is alleged to have been in the amount of $6,000 and paid around the time that Woerpel was charged with a crime in Lake Superior Court;

-A single payment of rent for McDermott for Mayor Headquarters in the amount of $1,000. Krieg alleges that free rent should be reported as an in-kind donation on the finance report.

Krieg explained that the contributions to Kelly Consulting, Inc continue in non-election years. The address for Kelly Consulting is listed as 7134 Knickerbocker, Hammond, IN 46323. Documentation was provided from the office of the Indiana Secretary of State showing that Marissa McDermott is listed as President of Kelly Consulting, Inc. Total payments to Kelly Consulting from the McDermott campaign for the years 2005 to present totalled just over $330,000.

The lack of payment to Kaplan controlled Pyramid Development may be the most damaging allegation. As reported previously, Pyramid Development is owned by McDermott friend and contributor Greg “Krazy” Kaplan. Kaplan later sold the building to the Purdue University Foundation for a reported $1M. Politically connected WJOB radio has announced that they will move into the building sometime next year. So far, they are the only announced tenant.  While not illegal on its face, the entire transaction certainly seems to require some explanation. To date, we have heard none.

You can see Mayor McDermott’s 2011 campaign report here:  http://lwvcalumet.org/files/cfb.mcdermott_jr_thomas_m_2011_annual_rpt.pdf

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3 Responses to “Krieg Calls for Feds to Investigate McDermott Campaign Finance Issues”

  1. Anonymous November 26, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Those poor bastards giving their last cent to help this guy get reelected and then he turns around and pads his own pockets. What a disgrace.

  2. Perry MX Stabler via Facebook November 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    …. 🙂

  3. Kenneth Stevenson via Facebook November 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I suspect that the feds may have bigger fish to fry. Either that or there’s more low hanging fruit (easier prosecutions) or they actually may not see this as a big enough problem to make it a federal issue. Jackson was a federal official who may have been involved in the “selling” of a US Senate seat. McDermott is “just a mayor”. They may see it as a local or state problem. My guess is that the state doesn’t do anything because “its what everybody does”. Personally I don’t see pocketing campaign contributions from low level contributors as a problem except to the contributors. What I see as the problem are campaign donations to elected officials made by people or corporations paid by the government in what appears to be payments or bribes in return for favors. That needs to stop. Government must have limitations that prohibit it from doing business with or hiring the people or corporations that make campaign contributions.

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