FBI agents interview Lake Station mayor
BY CHRISTIN NANCE LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org November 15, 2013 12:12PM
FBI officials were at the Lake Station City Hall on Friday morning. | Christin Nance Lazereus/Post-Tribune
Updated: December 17, 2013 6:07AM
LAKE STATION — Federal Bureau of Investigation agents showed up at the office of Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist shortly before noon on Friday.
An FBI van was parked in front of City Hall, and at least three agents were visible inside the office around noon. An office worker said no boxes of documents were taken from the office but the agents did interview the mayor.
None of the FBI agents on the scene would comment.
A caller to the Post-Tribune said FBI agents took computers out of the building, but an office worker who would not give her name disputed that, saying “not a thing” was removed.
A city attorney said in October that federal investigators, over the summer, had subpoenaed documents from Lake Station’s Board of Works, over which Soderquist presides as president.
Soderquist has declined then to comment on the investigation.
In February, the State Board of Accounts audit ordered a former court employee — Soderquist’s stepdaughter Miranda Brakley — to pay the city $13,130 for money she improperly received after she was fired in 2012. She was a deputy court clerk responsible for collecting bond payments for the Lake Station. But she never deposited $16,464 from 39 cases.
A week after her firing, the Lake Station City Council moved two deputy positions from City Court Judge Christopher Anderson’s budget to the Clerk-Treasurer’s purview and Brakley was rehired. She received $468 for seven days vacation and $12,661 for unused compensatory and sick time even thought she only had 30 minutes remaining in her vacation time.
Two weeks later, Lake County Superior Court Judge Calvin Hawkins issued a temporary restraining order against the Brakley’s rehiring.