Court removes Scheub from future quarry hearings
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 30, 2012 12:02AM
Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub
Updated: November 1, 2012 6:37AM
FOWLER — Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, will have to recuse himself from any Lake County Drainage Board proceedings for the Singleton Quarry, according to court orders.
Benton County Circuit Court Judge Rex Kepner last week issued an order agreeing with the VanKalker Family Limited Partnership’s contention that Scheub was biased and prejudiced against the proposed Singleton Quarry in southern Lake County in his pursuit of an environmental impact analysis for the project and his opposition to it. The judge selected arbitrator Rich McDevitt, a Merrillville lawyer with the McDevitt Mediation Center, to sit in Scheub’s place.
“I feel that the people lost their voice in county government when I was taken off that Drainage Board. My elected duty is to serve on the Drainage Board for that district. They took the voice out the Second District and gave it to a mediator who really doesn’t live there,” Scheub said Friday.
Jan Carroll with Barnes and Thornburg in Indianapolis, who represents the VanKalkers, said her clients sued Scheub and the Drainage Board in 2011 in Lake County. The case started in Lake County but wound up in Benton County after a change in venue.
Carroll said the judge’s order closes the case but how the order is to be carried out had yet to be determined. Both sides were supposed to submit a form of order Friday agreeing on a plan but she did not believe that would happen.
“There is a disagreement on the understanding of the scope of the judge’s order,” Carroll said.
If the two sides do not agree, the judge will issue a written order that must be followed.
Scheub said he thought the matter should have gone to trial but will abide by what the judge decides. He said he is hopeful the Drainage Board will take the steps necessary to protect the property of those who live nearby the proposed quarry.
“My voice has been silenced. I cannot pursue it further,” Scheub said.
The Drainage Board has had the Singleton Quarry project petition tabled for the last 22 months, Scheub said. Now that the matter is resolved he expects it soon will move back onto the regular agenda.