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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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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