LaPorte County Attorney Shaw Friedman Friedman & Associates, P.C. responded today to a press release issued by Auditor Tim Stabosz while Stabosz was vacationing in rural Tennessee by saying, “Once again, the Auditor goes off half-cocked with half-baked claims of ‘impropriety’ and ‘illegality’ that he cannot back up with facts. I made it quite clear last night at the County Commission meeting that once the county had received the opinion letter from the State Board of Accounts (which Mr. Stabosz and Mr. Haney had lobbied for) that we had no choice to but follow the far more expensive and time delaying sealed bid process for the Franklin Street bridge rehabilitation/restoration project.”
Unsaid in Mr. Stabosz’ ridiculous press release from Tennessee is that it was his close ally Councilman Earl Cunningham – realizing the sealed bid process would cost taxpayers $15-20 million more than the heavily discounted sole source contract with the Marquiss/WJE team that has worked on the bridge for decades – who took to the microphone to urge the Commissioners to ignore the State Board of Accounts letter and proceed with the special purchase route I’d been advocating. I made it quite clear that unless both Mr. Haney and Mr. Stabosz waived their objections – no way.” (see enclosed statement and attachments provided to the County Commission last evening.)
Mr. Stabosz’ penchant for using his office to settle personal and political scores is now costing taxpayers dearly – not only in refusing to consider the completely legal and appropriate “special purchases” statute for the bridge rehabilitation, but he’s missed key deadlines that are critical in his job.
For instance, he was due to make a $650,000.00 bond payment July 14th on the Michigan City Courthouse bonds and he blew it. Fortunately, the former County Auditor Joie Winski talked the bank off the ledge later that week, otherwise they could have called our $25 million note.
A month later, he blew the August 2nd deadline for certifying net assessed valuations and was told by the state he was late.
Mr. Stabosz – who declared himself ‘Chief Integrity Officer’ on his first day in office is too busy using his governmental offices to settle personal and political scores to do his job correctly.
Because of his outrageous claims questioning my ethics and integrity that began last December, I had to file suit against him for defamation in February and am pleased that my lawyers are finally scheduled to take his deposition under oath a week from today.