(La Porte, IN) - County Commissioners met Wednesday morning for their regular meeting. Right away, commission members had a disagreement on whether to approve minutes from their last meeting.
The minutes as originally submitted contained a comment from Commissioner Joe Haney, which he claimed was misquoted. Commissioners Rich Mrozinski and Sheila Matias refused to accept his amended version.
At the July 20 meeting, La Porte’s April Daly, who is a member of the northwest Indiana Shared Ethics Advisory Commission, spoke on the topic of government ethics. Identifying herself as “the ethics commissioner” of La Porte County, Daly called Haney’s manner of discourse "inappropriate, unethical, and just not right" and implied that he is a member of the Oath Keepers, which has been labeled a far-right militia group.
Haney interrupted Daly saying, “That’s not true, I’m not a member of that organization,” followed by something else that was muffled by Daly’s response. According to Haney, he asked Daly to "please stop." According to Mathias, the audio reflects Haney saying “I stopped that.” Mrozinski claimed Haney said, “it stopped.” The archived Access La Porte County telecast, linked here, shows the interaction, beginning at approximately the 21-minute mark.
Haney says the controversy is part of an ongoing attempt to link him to unseemly political groups. According to Haney, he has already obtained a cease and desist order against County Attorney Shaw Friedman for alleging that Haney was involved in the January 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol.
Haney says he doesn’t wasn’t to make a big deal of what he feels are altered transcripts. But he fears that the words as entered in the record may be used against him as proof that he once belonged to the Oath Keepers, something he denies.
At Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners could not agree to accept Haney’s version of the minutes and will take the matter under advisement.