Two days of court mediation are scheduled in mid-April for the long-running litigation concerning East Chicago casino revenue and economic development agreements, but the Indiana attorney general wants the city council to consider setting up a trusteeship for the millions of dollars generated through those agreements.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Feb. 25 asked the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to assume responsibility for more than $8 million currently held in escrow, money that was casino revenue intended for local economic development activity. The AG says a trusteeship could be created to manage the funds and decide how they’d be spent. That would be separate from the city to ensure public credibility and transparency, Zoeller said.
This is part of the investigation into political corruption and misuse of casino money in that city, tied to the separate racketeering action that brought a $108 million damages judgment against former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick and his top allies. Several lawsuits are ongoing over this gambling revenue, and it’s a topic that Zoeller has urged lawmakers to address to provide more transparency about these agreements and how local money is generated and spent.
Rehearing: "Second Century suit can proceed" IL Nov. 10-23, 2010