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Friedman Answers to Puppeteer Claims

(La Porte, IN) - The attorney for La Porte County government has responded to what he denounces are false allegations that he’s running the show or has influence on decisions made by public officials.


At today’s La Porte County Commissioners meeting, Attorney Shaw Friedman was asked by the commissioners to give a report on the work of his firm on behalf of county government.  Friedman started out by saying he operates strictly at the direction of the commissioners and it’s the commissioners who are the head coach of the team.  “Everything we do is at the direction and request of the elected officials.  You all are the quarterbacks of the team.  I’m one of the wide receivers on the team.  Our success is your success,” he said.


Friedman went on to say there are other wide receivers along with running backs on the team trying to score for the county and the team is owned by the taxpayers.  Friedman said his many successes on behalf of county government last year included opening legal doors for expansion of rail service at Kingsbury Industrial Park and working closely with higher levels of government to obtain $3.6 million in COVID-19 relief dollars.


His report was given nearly a month after Friedman filed a lawsuit against newly elected La Porte County Auditor Tim Stabosz.  Friedman is seeking unspecified damages alleging defamation of character against Stabosz.


Stabosz, among other things, has alleged Friedman for a long time has had control or influence on the happenings of county government.   One reason Stabosz alleged is Friedman benefits financially from the work his law firm does for county  government.  Similar questions have also been raised by newly elected La Porte County Commissioner Joe Haney.


In his report, Friedman noted the cost to taxpayers for the legal work of his firm in 2020 was just over $290,000 or more than $80,000 less than what was charged in 2018 by the previous county attorney.


Friedman also said the county realized even more savings from the $220,000 charged in 2019 for the legal work of his firm compared to the previous year’s bill by his predecessor.

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