May 14, 2017-According to the One Region Times, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter says he is “looking into” the allegations of sexual misconduct in the office of Lake County Recorder Mike Brown. If true, the allegations in a federal civil complaint filed by former employee Estrella Montalvo could form the basis of a litany of charges including ghost payrolling, fraud, and extortion. But Bernie Carter has so many things to “investigate”, it seems he may need additional staff. Perhaps he could hire a former federal prosecutor to assist him in his investigations.
On April 25 we wrote to Lake County Sheriff Public Information Officer Mark Back and requested a status update on an officer involved shooting that occurred on February 26, 2017. In that case which occurred at or near Hustle & Joe’s Bar and Grill, 25 year old Dvontai Wright of the 900 block of 35th Avenue in Griffith was pronounced dead at the scene. Back confirmed that the Sheriff’s Police concluded their investigation and handed the information over to Carter’s office:
“The LCSD investigators assigned to this case completed their report and sent it to the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office. At this point it is up to the prosecutor to release any/all information on the case.”
Just two weeks ago, the Times reported that charges against a Gary police detective were “under review.” In that case, George E. Dickerson Hammond Police allege that Gary detective George E. Dickerson was working security at Wal-Mart when he discovered that a self-checkout lane was dispensing the wrong change. Instead of reporting the error, Dickerson allegedly took advantage of the error multiple times and received $495.00 from the machine. One would think that the office of the Prosecuting Attorney would want to move swiftly on the case, either clearing the officer of any wrongdoing and thus removing any blemish from his record, or moving the case forward to prevent damage to future felony cases in which the officer may be called to testify. But alas, an employee was on vacation, and the case languished on a desk, and and and . . . there are still no charges listed in the online docket as of this date and there has been no statement clearing the officer.
On April 7, 2017, Carter said he was “investigating” whether Lake County Council Member Christine Cid skated on a drunken driving charge in East Chicago according to a report published in The Times. In that case, an East Chicago officer stopped Cid, towed her car, and transported her to the station on suspicion of drunk driving. No further information on how Carter’s investigation is progressing.
Finally, there is the case of Munster Town Councilman John Reed. Reed was arrested by Hammond Police July 19 after crashing into another vehicle. According to a police report, Reed slurred his speech, failed field sobriety tests and blew a .13 on a breathalyzer. That case is due in court yet again tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. after being continued 7 times since the original arraignment date of August 15, 2016.
Similarly, when RDA Board Member Randy Palmateer received a sweetheart deal in a second operating while intoxicated case, Carter said he was “reviewing” the procedures utilized by his office.
EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story erroneously said allegations were made against Lake County Clerk Mike Brown. No allegations of impropriety have been made against Clerk Mike Brown and we apologize for the error.