Mayor McDermott Attempts to Quash Investigation into Campaign Finances

6 Dec

by Ken Davidson

In a filing with the Lake County Election Board today, Mayor McDermott, by his attorney David Westland, asked the board to dismiss the complaint filed by Eric Krieg. You will recall that Krieg filed a complaint asking the board to investigate payments of over $300,000 from the campaign to the Mayor’s wife; non-payment of rent to Pyramid Development Corporation for office space; and a one-time payment of $6,000 to David Woerpel from the campaign.

In the filing the Mayor states “there is no substantial reason to believe that a violation of election law has occurred.” The Mayor argues that Indiana law does not require a written contract between a candidate and his wife for payment of services to the campaign. In support of this argument, the Mayor cites the fact that the advisory opinion was never codified and the statement of Brad King, co-chair of the Indiana Election Commission, which was obtained by The Times of Northwest Indiana for their article on the issue.

As to the rent issue, the Mayor argues that rent was paid and the Board should not look to the fair market value of any such agreement. Finally, as to the one time payment to David Woerpel, the Mayor points out that the payment was made three weeks before his arrest and states that Woerpel performed services for the campaign. The nature of the services are not outlined in the reply.

The Gazette would like to hear your thoughts. Should the Election Board investigate the above issues?
You can read the full response here:
12051302 (1)

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3 Responses to “Mayor McDermott Attempts to Quash Investigation into Campaign Finances”

  1. Sarah Albin via Facebook December 6, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    Must feel guilty….

  2. Perry MX Stabler via Facebook December 6, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    … 🙂

  3. Anonymous December 6, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Yes, and pigs do fly!

    One of Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr’s most ardent supporters Greg Kaplan company made what appears to be $300,000 profit on a building, 3o days after purchase of a building sold to a public institution.

    Kaplan’s company reportedly purchased a building from another Lake County insider Dr. Wilardo, once the LC Coroner. Wilardo was indicted and subsequent conviction stemmed from diversion of county funds into his campaign account.

    Wilardo reportedly sold this building, empty for a number of years, to Kaplan’s Company for $700,000. Kaplan reportedly, sold the building 30 days later to Purdue, collecting $1,000,000, a $300,000 profit. Hammond has a business facade improvement program, which may have, provided funding for the buildings remodeling.

    Purdue backed out of a plan to spend $1,000,000 in rehabbing the property.

    Some question how Wilardo’s building, unoccupied for a number of years, sold for $700,000 in this economy. Some point to other Hammond commercial properties some larger other smaller buildings sold between $400,000 and $500,000.

    McDermott’s 2011 re election campaign leased this space. A review of McDermott’s campaign, managed by a company owned by McDermott’s wife, appears to reflect a singe $1,000 rent payment made by McDermott campaign. If true only $1,000 was pad by the campaign, this payment, does not reflect market value for this rented space.

    After Kaplan Company’s sale of this building to Purdue, Purdue announced, then backed out of a $1,000,000 renovation plan. Hammond’s Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr then offered/promised $3,000,000 to Purdue to rehab the building. With such a stroke of luck, Hammond’s WJOB announces their move to the Purdue building.

    McDermott has spent thousands of dollars, tens of thousands on a Friday morning radio show on WJOB. Some believe WJOB’s AM host James Dedlow, runs interference for Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr, shielding McDermott from difficult and more in depth questions during their show in exchange for the new site.

    Given the unique chain of events, a federal inquiry is in line. Lake County has a rich history of political corruption with over 90 plus related political, political associates convicted. There are several murders loosely tied to this corruption.

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