Van Til remains in surveyor’s race
By Rich Bird Post-Tribune correspondent July 16, 2012 4:50PM
George Van Til, Lake County Surveyor.
Updated: August 18, 2012 6:20AM
CROWN POINT — As Monday’s deadline for candidates to remove themselves from the November ballot came and went, Lake County Surveyor George Van Til remained steadfast in his bid for a sixth term.
Thus far, Van Til, has not acceded to the call issued by Democratic boss Tom McDermott, Jr., to bow out in the wake of the FBI’s investigation into the surveyor’s office.
Van Til could not immediately be reached for comment.
On June 5, state and federal investigators executed a search warrant at the Lake County Government Center, seizing computers and paperwork from Van Til’s second floor offices. Almost immediately, McDermott publicly called on Van Til, 64, of Merrillville, to abandon his campaign.
So far, federal investigators have not commented on what they were looking for or whether the information gathered will result in criminal charges.
Van Til, who is facing Republican Eric Krieg in the November election, said McDermott rushed to judgment and that the Hammond mayor was no longer “part of my consideration in processing this situation.”
Krieg, 40, of Munster issued a statement Monday, asking voters to back him on Nov. 6.
“I ask for the votes of everyone, especially honest and informed Democrats, who are sick and tired of politicians like George Van Til dragging the good name of Lake County through the mud with regularity,” Krieg said.
“It is time for a new day in Lake County, with a surveyor who is a professional engineer, who is 100 percent ethical and who will use non-political criteria when choosing drainage projects, putting the people of Lake County first and foremost in everything that he does.”
With the deadline passed, Krieg said state law does not allow Democrats to name a replacement candidate should Van Til withdraw or be indicted.