UPDATE: While Clerk Mike Brown did not return calls for comment, in a social media post he stated that the campaign commercial video was shot at a public library. We reached out to our source, who has provided accurate information on numerous occasions, and that source may have been wrong on this occasion. Mike Brown’s statement and the photo he posted are below. Mike Brown still has not commented on the meeting he had in his office with his campaign treasurer on Friday April 20. We strive to bring you the most accurate reporting based on the information available at the time. We apologize to Mr. Brown, his campaign and especially to our readers for the error.
Here is a screenshot from the video with the flag which appears to have been digitally imposed:
April 21, 2018-Yesterday we reported that it appeared Lake County Clerk Mike Brown used his government center office for a campaign meeting with his treasurer. To make matters worse, the meeting took place at the same time a former sheriff candidate was in court for misusing his position to obtain campaign contributions. Almost immediately upon publishing the article, the Gazette received a message that Mike Brown had also used his government center office to make his campaign commercial. You can see in the screenshot attached to this article that the video is clearly shot in offices that belong to the taxpayers of Lake County, Indiana. You can see the full video displaying the blatant misuse of a government office for campaign purposes on his webpage.
As Brown was meeting in the Lake County Government Center with Campaign Treasurer Trent McCain, former Chief Deputy Lake County Sheriff Dan Murchek was in Federal Court being arraigned for lying to the FBI. Chief of Police Tim Downs has entered a plea to a charge of honest services fraud and former Sheriff John Buncich is serving over 15 years in federal prison for misusing his office for personal gain. Against this backdrop, it is absolutely stunning that any candidate would misuse the government center for political office.
The Lake County Government Center is not your personal campaign office and you are not allowed to campaign on County time or in County offices. After the past sheriff went to federal prison for abusing the public trust, a sheriff candidate who does not understand the difference between work and campaigning is not qualified for office.
Then again, Brown’s real plan is to hang on to his current office. More on that later.
Lake County Clerk Mike Brown did not return calls to his cell phone or office.