Sheriff Buncich issued the following statement today. We have chosen to re-print the statement in it’s entirety, without comment for your review. As always, the Gazette welcomes comments from readers.
“As many of you know, in November 2016 I was charged in a federal indictment of receiving bribes and/or kickbacks with regard to County towing contracts. This is and has always been absurd. I was certain that this matter would have been resolved quickly with either a dismissal or a positive jury verdict. I have long wanted to issue a statement of my innocence to allay any concerns that you may have and to maintain your confidence in the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. But, on the advice of my attorneys, I have remained silent. Unfortunately, the massive volume of material that has been turned over to me and the material that has yet to be turned over has made quick resolution impossible, despite the most diligent efforts of me and my counsel. My case has now been continued to August and may require further continuances.
With consideration of that delay and now with the consent of my attorneys, as the highest law enforcement officer in Lake County I feel it is my obligation to make a statement and reassure the public that their safety and interests are protected. Trust that I am still your faithful servant and that your safety and services are carrying on as always. For those who know me and my 45 years in law enforcement, you know that I would never compromise my integrity or professionalism and cannot be guilty of these charges; trust that I would never sell my office—not for any amount.
I assure you that I am absolutely innocent. I assure you that the workings of the Lake County Sheriff in all its capacities will remain ongoing in perfect working order. I look forward to my trial and the vindication that will come from it.
I wish that I could be more specific and provide further re-assurance of my innocence. However, I have been advised against trying the particular facts of my case publicly. I will have my opportunity to do so in a courtroom in August or sometime later and I look forward to that optimistically.
I give this release for reassurance. There have been no allegations that I have not performed exceptionally as Sheriff and I will continue to do so. I wish to make certain that all functions of the Sheriff’s Department will continue to operate with absolute excellence. I wish to provide confidence that you are protected and absolute excellence is still demanded of all county employees. My commitment to you remains unwavering. I continue to be your faithful servant with gratitude, and trust that I am innocent of these charges.”
Sheriff John Buncich