(La Porte, IN) - More fireworks in what’s been a politically explosive year in La Porte County went off again during today’s La Porte County Commissioners meeting.
The most charged moment, perhaps, involved LaPorte County Auditor Tim Stabosz in a loud tone of voice, telling LaPorte County Attorney Shaw Friedman repeatedly to stop misrepresenting state law.
“You are lying,” Stabosz told Friedman.
Friedman explained state law governing elected officials disclosing the names of relatives doing work for the local governments they represent. However, Friedman also seemed to blame Stabosz for additions added recently to local requirements that mandate the names of more distant relatives of elected officials doing work for county government also be disclosed.
The controversy was over a cleaning contract awarded to the daughter of La Porte County Commissioner Rich Mrozinski. His daughter has ownership in the company. Mrozinski said he had nothing to do with the contract recommended for approval by LaPorte County Director of Facilities Larry Levendowski. Mrozinski also stated that he filled out the necessary paperwork to disclose his daughter’s involvement with the company.
“I’m in compliance,” Mrozinski said.
After the meeting, Stabosz said Mrozinski waited several weeks to submit the necessary paperwork downstate when disclosure was required before the contract was awarded.
“He was only brought into compliance yesterday at my demand,” Stabosz said.
At the end of the meeting, Mrozinski, after criticizing the tremendous amount of political infighting this year, accused Stabosz of trying to settle personal scores and political vendettas since taking over as auditor in January.
Mrozinski said he and other elected officials that are not starting the fighting are strictly trying to put La Porte County in a better position for the future. Mrozinski also suggested Stabosz might need “psychological help.” Stabosz said the contract awarded to Mrozinski’s daughter’s company was 40-percent more than the offer from the other company involved in the bidding.
Levendowski said there were inconsistencies in the bid proposal from the company that didn't receive the contract. He felt those discrepancies could wind up costing the county additional money later in labor costs.