(La Porte County, IN) - La Porte County Auditor Tim Stabosz said he's not to blame for the A+ credit rating of the county government being pulled by S & P Global Ratings.
He said the withdrawal of the rating stems from "cash imbalances" in the books that occurred under former LaPorte County Treasurer Lynne Spevak's tenure in office.
S & P Global Ratings wanted a copy of a 2019 audit of county ledgers by the Indiana State Board of Accounts to decide if any adjustments were needed to the A+ rating.
However, the rating was withdrawn because a report of the audit was not received by S & P Global Ratings in a timely manner.
Stabosz said the 2019 audit was not performed until after current La Porte County Treasurer Joie Winski, who took office in 2020, fixed the discrepancies in the ledgers. It wasn't until recently the state audit was completed and the results available to submit to the world-renowned credit agency.
"Under treasurer Winski, it's taken 18 months for them to bring 2019 into balance, so we were waiting. This had nothing to do with my office. It's not my function. It's the treasurer's function. The problem was created by the previous treasurer," Stabosz explained.
La Porte County Attorney Shaw Friedman blamed Stabosz, alleging he knew the A+ credit rating was in jeopardy in April. However, Friedman asserts that Stabosz told nobody to try and correct the situation until two months later.
Stabosz denied the allegation and alleged that Friedman was trying to make him look bad because of their ongoing dispute over some of his work claims not being paid by his office.
“What he seeks to do is to make you quiver in your boots and terrorize you with how much he’s going to harm you by assaulting your reputation. He gets minions to help him do that,” Stabosz said.
Friedman is suing Stabosz personally for withholding payment on claims from Freidman's law firm, Friedman & Associates, which represents the commissioners.
Friedman also has a still undecided lawsuit against Stabosz on allegations of defamation of character for Stabosz, alleging Friedman runs the county government.
Friedman explained that efforts are being made to try and restore the A+ credit rating.