Bankruptcy delays collection effort

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick has filed for bankruptcy, putting on hold the state’s attempt to seize his property to help pay off the $108 million he owes from a civil racketeering default judgment against him.

On Dec. 17, the former mayor filed a notice for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, just one day after the state AG obtained a writ of execution allowing federal marshals to seize his home and property in northern Indiana. U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein in Hammond had granted a request for the seizure of personal property, art, bonds, and jewelry, but he withdrew that writ following the bankruptcy filing.

This is the latest development in a long-standing case against the former mayor and other East Chicago officials, who were a part of a sidewalks-for-votes fraud scheme that involved the use of $24 million in city money to pave patios, sidewalks, driveways, and remove trees in exchange for 1999 primary votes. Pastrick and two former top aides were found guilty last year of running a corrupt enterprise under federal racketeering statutes, and a federal judge in March ordered a default judgment totaling more than $108 million.

In his bankruptcy filing, Pastrick says his assets are valued from $100,000 to $500,000 and his debt is more than $100 million. The only creditors he lists are the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and the Indianapolis law firm of Rubin & Levin that’s representing the state in its case against Pastrick.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller contends the judgment should not be dischargeable in bankruptcy and that this is just another attempt by Pastrick to avoid accountability and stall the collection process.

A meeting of Pastrick creditors is scheduled for Jan. 25, according to the federal court docket.


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  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon