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AG objects to East Chicago settlement

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The Indiana Attorney General has filed an objection to a City of East Chicago deal with Second Century, a for-profit company that has received casino money, that would settle a lawsuit between the parties.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller took the legal action Friday to prevent the settlement between East Chicago administration and Second Century Inc. from taking effect. Mayor George Pabey wants to settle the lawsuit - in which the AG is also a party - with Second Century that would require the for-profit company to account for $16 million in casino revenue it's received from the East Chicago riverboat casino since the company was created during former Mayor Robert Pastrick's administration. Nearly $8 million is currently in an escrow account. Second Century hasn't divulged how the money has been used.

The settlement would release the money in escrow, with 54 percent going to city administration and 46 percent to Second Century's owners. It wouldn't include accounting of casino revenue that has been spent so far nor any transparency in the future.

East Chicago City Council rejected the settlement last month, but the Pabey administration and Second Century jointly filed an agreed stipulation of dismissal with prejudice of the lawsuit April 6 in Marion Superior Court, purporting to dismiss the city's claims without the council's approval.

The court granted East Chicago and Second Century's stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. Zoeller objects to the settlement because as a plaintiff in the suit, the attorney general's office wasn't consulted about the settlement and does not agree with it. He claims the dismissal will allow the escrow funds to be distributed to Second Century, which would severely prejudice the claims that form the basis of the AG's action.

The court has yet to rule on the attorney general's motions.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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