Indiana Northern District judge recuses herself from Portage mayor’s bribery retrial

A federal judge has recused herself from the bribery case of a former northwestern Indiana mayor only days after setting a date for his retrial in that case.

U.S. District Court Judge Theresa Springmann in Hammond recused herself Friday from former Portage Mayor James Snyder’s retrial. That means another judge — the third in the case — will have to be appointed to oversee the retrial, the Post-Tribune reported.

On Nov. 2, Springmann had scheduled Dec. 7 as the start for Snyder’s retrial on a soliciting bribes charge, which alleges that he solicited a bribe from two local businessmen.

A federal jury convicted Snyder in February 2019 of bribery and federal tax violations, but the bribery verdict was later overturned. Another judge ruled that Snyder deserved a new trial because he was denied the chance of calling brothers Bob and Steve Buha to testify that they didn’t bribe him.

The case was reassigned to Springmann in December 2019, according to court records.

Last month, Springmann decided that Snyder must face a new jury on the bribery charge, overruling defense arguments that a second trial was barred by the constitutional protection against double jeopardy.

Prosecutors allege Snyder corruptly steered $1.125 million in contracts for the city of Portage to buy garbage trucks from a Portage trucking company in 2013, when the Buha brothers were its owners.

The government alleges Snyder solicited and received a $13,000 bribe from the brothers a few weeks later.

Snyder has pleaded not guilty.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}