Local News

Stabosz Ordered to Pay Second Claim

(La Porte, IN) - The La Porte County Commissioners have ordered the La Porte County Auditor to pay another claim by the county attorney.


The second-order issued today was for a $10,000 claim from attorney Shaw Friedman for work he did for the commissioners in September. Auditor Tim Stabosz is already withholding $1,100 from Friedman in his August billing. 


The commissioners sued Stabosz for ignoring their first order. After today's commissioner's meeting, Stabosz vowed to remain in defiance of paying the second order. Instead, Stabosz says he would reimburse the claims if Friedman provided documentation verifying the claims were for legitimate work.


“No, I’m not paying it. Look, I’ve been waiting. Commissioner Haney has been waiting for documentation. I audit the claims,” Stabosz said.

Today, the commissioners added the second claim to their lawsuit, asking a judge to order Stabosz to pay Friedman $11,100. The commissioners argue they are the Executive Branch of government, and the Auditor must obey their orders under state statute. Stabosz maintains that he has the ultimate authority on handling claims as Auditor, superseding the commissioners' authority. 


Stabosz said Friedman provided documentation he sought in July on a claim he questioned but has refused to explain further to the public the billing he disputes from August and September. In response, Friedman said none of his company's reimbursement requests in his 25-years or more as county attorney has ever been contested and accused Stabosz of trying to settle political and personal scores.


The Indiana State Board of Accounts recently advised the La Porte County Auditor to pay Friedman & Associates law firm the reimbursement amount and sided with the commissioners in this dispute. 

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