Lake County, I presume, is Gary?
Yes, Gary, Hammond, etc.
You are correct.
Yep as well as the Well run fiefdoms of Hammond East Chicago and Whiting. Otherwise know as the peoples republic of lake County, where more dem office holders are indicted per capita the nearby cook county. A brief taste of some of Lake County Hijinks Skip to comments.
Frankie Flees (Democrats and Corruption? Say it Aint so)
NW Indiana Times nwitimes.com
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 10:17:15 AM by slapshot
EAST CHICAGO | Former City Councilman Frank “Frankie” Kollintzas fled the country and a prison term that he warned in a letter he couldn’t face.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Miller pronounced a sentence of 11 years and four months Thursday to an empty chair at the defense table in his South Bend courtroom after being told the 62-year-old man used either a false passport or a possibly a Greek passport, under the name Fotios Kollintzas, to board a Swissair flight Tuesday afternoon to Zurich, Switzerland.
Kollintzas wrote a letter to the court the day he fled complaining he hadn’t slept well since his arrest in 2003 in the sidewalks-for-votes case and that he didn’t deserve “to go to prison until I die or become an old man.”
The judge issued an arrest warrant for Kollintzas.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Van Bokkelen said, “I will vigorously pursue him.” Kollintzas, however, could find sanctuary in Greece, since that nation doesn’t return American fugitives who receive Greek citizenship, he said.
He said Kollintzas is a native-born American, but his parents immigrated from Greece. Kollintzas’ cousin, Evangelos Kollintzas of Schererville, fled there two years ago to avoid trial on a federal extortion charge.
The judge said Frank Kollintzas’ sentence was a “just punishment” for misappropriating nearly $24 million in public funds five years ago to give free concrete driveways, patios and sidewalks to voters to ensure his re-election and that of the former Mayor Robert Pastrick’s administration in the 1999 primary election.
There was no reaction Thursday to the announcement of Kollintzas’ disappearance from the crowd of his supporters in the courtroom.
A work associate of Kollintzas, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Times Thursday she and another fellow worker last saw Kollintzas Tuesday afternoon. He met with one of his lawyers that day at the city school administration building, where Kollintzas was on the payroll as director of facilities.
Kollintzas apparently left his car in the school parking lot outside an administration building called the warehouse. A member of his family came to drive it away.
His 62nd birthday was Tuesday, and his family had planned a celebration at his home that evening. “But he never showed up,” she said. She said his family told others they didn’t know where he was. “No one has heard anything. This is like a bad dream,” she said.
Van Bokkelen, who was present in court for the sentencing, and Theodore Poulos, lead counsel of Kollintzas’ defense team, both said they suspect Kollintzas fled after the judge sentenced his co-defendants, Edwardo Maldonado, former city controller, and Joe De La Cruz, former fellow city councilman, to eight years and six years in prison, respectively.
Poulos said in his sentencing argument, “I don’t know why he isn’t here, but he continued to insist on his innocence and facing a sentence in such a draconian range... that would put him in prison until age 73 or 75.”
He said Kollintzas would have received the same sentence if he had robbed and wounded a bank teller.
Van Bokkelen said the sentence was fair and a warning to others under investigation to cooperate or face a similar price.
He said, “I think the Maldonado sentence (Friday) did scare him. I think Kollintzas hedged his bets up to the last moment.”
Kollintzas was supposed to have been sentenced Friday along with Maldonado and De La Cruz, but the judge granted Kollintzas a six-day delay because Poulos had to appear in another court Friday.
Van Bokkelen said he doesn’t think that was a ruse. “I think Ted was as shocked as anybody. Ted’s client betrayed him. I take him at his word that he wanted to (be sentenced) first.”
Van Bokkelen said he never considered detaining Kollintzas before sentencing, despite vague rumors he might flee. He said no federal judge was likely to detain someone like Kollintzas who had lived and worked in Northwest Indiana all his life.
The three-hour sentencing — described as surreal by one government source — featured defense lawyers praising Kollintzas’ integrity. “He’s done a world of good,” Poulos said.
The judge ran through the ritual of explaining how he arrived at the sentence, the amount of restitution ($25.5 million) and the right of appeal to an absent defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hollar argued that with Kollintzas “getting on an airplane and leaving the country, there was no more powerful statement he could make” in answer to evidence Kollintzas led and organized the corruption that swept the city.
The judge read out a long list of witnesses who implicated Kollintzas in the sidewalk scheme and said that his escape counterbalanced all the good attributed to his private and public good works over the last four decades.
Miller said 25 people wrote him to praise Kollintzas. “He did not return their support today,” the judge said.