Candidate gets the boot at Lake County building
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent April 11, 2014 9:54PM
Lita Filippo | Supplied photo
Updated: May 13, 2014 6:13AM
CROWN POINT — A Democratic candidate for Lake County Commissioner on Friday was escorted by a sheriff’s police officer out of the Lake County Government Center for allegedly disruptive behavior.
Lita Iatarola Filippo was ushered out of the building after about an hour of making public record requests at various offices, including the auditor, veterans’ administration and commissioners.
Filippo, of Gary, is challenging two-term Commissioner Roosevelt Allan Jr. for the 1st District Democratic nomination in the May 6 primary election.
“In my heart I know what I’m doing, I’m trying to help the citizens and the people of Lake County,” she said.
She said she has made repeated requests for records but is given documents that aren’t what she requested.
“I’m requesting this information for the taxpayers to let them know what (officials) are doing with their money,” Filippo said, accusing county workers of deliberately not filling her requests so she has to spend more time at the government center instead of campaigning.
Larry Cak, executive director of the auditor’s office, disputed her account. Cak said he contacted police to have Filippo escorted out after she became disruptive.
Cak said his staff goes out of its way to fill public information requests, but Filippo doesn’t understand what she’s looking for and gets upset when the documentation is not what she expected.
“She thinks it’s a conspiracy,” he said.
Michael Wieser, director of finance in the auditor’s office, said Filippo was removed from the building after displaying what he described as abusive and disruptive behavior toward the office’s staff.
“Today was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said, referring to about 15 prior visits by her to the office, seeking records.
Marian Redmond-Ivey, executive secretary for the county commissioners, said she repeatedly has tried to accommodate Filippo’s information requests, efforts that are often met with bullying behavior by her.
Filippo said she’s frustrated about not getting the information she’s looking for.
“If I get upset, it is because I feel violated as a taxpayer,” she said.