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Sidewalk Six defendant settles with state

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What began a decade ago and became known as the Sidewalk Six paving-for-votes scandal is now nearing an end as one of the three remaining defendants in the civil racketeering case has settled with the state.

On Friday, U.S. Judge James Moody dismissed former East Chicago city official Timothy Raykovich from the state suit. A status report filed May 13 shows that he reached an agreement in principle earlier in the week, as did contractor Calumet Concrete, who was named as a defendant in the suit.

Now, Pastrick and one of his top aides, James Fife III, are the two remaining defendants in the case and the Indiana Attorney General's Office notes in court filings that they aren't likely to settle before trial despite continuing "good faith" negotiations. Their estimated three-week trial is set to begin May 26 in federal court in Hammond.

Attorneys are bound by a gag order in the case and not allowed to speak about details, so the only public information comes from the court filings and docket entries. Chicago attorney Patrick M. Collins with Perkins Coie is acting as a special deputy for the state Attorney General's Office on this case. Highland attorney Michael W. Bosch represents Pastrick and Fife is representing himself, according to court filings.

The case was filed in 2004 under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and alleged that former East Chicago Mayor Pastrick and multiple city officials and contractors spent $24 million of public money in a paving-for-votes scheme during the May 1999 Democratic mayoral primary election. Many settled, but Pastrick, Raykovich, and James Fife III did not and the trio wasn't criminally charged.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has said that he doesn't expect the state will be able to collect all of the $24 million at issue in the case, but he hopes the suit will prove how deep the East Chicago corruption ran in those years.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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