Feds take payroll records from Lake surveyor’s office
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent May 15, 2013 4:52PM
George Van Til, Lake County Surveyor.
Updated: June 18, 2013 7:27AM
CROWN POINT — A subpoena requesting almost 10 years of payroll records from Lake County Surveyor George Van Til’s office recently was executed by federal agents.
Mark Pearman, executive director of data processing for Lake County, confirmed Wednesday his department was served a subpoena two weeks ago requesting payroll records for all surveyor’s department employees from approximately 2004 or 2006 to the present. The office has complied with the request.
The subpoena comes almost a year after federal agents and the Indiana State Police removed computers, hard drives and documents from Van Til’s office. The materials were removed from the office June 5.
Pearman said he has testified twice before the grand jury in the past year regarding the hard drive and equipment removed from Van Til’s office.
At the time the equipment was removed Andrew Northern, spokesman for the Indianapolis Division of the FBI, said the FBI was conducting investigative activity at that location but declined to name the target of that investigation or what possible illegal activity may be involved.
Later last year Supervisory Special Agent Bill Rowell, who appeared before the Crown Point Rotary Club, said he could not comment on whether there was an investigation into the surveyor’s office but acknowledged to members his office was involved in the removal of the materials, following a question from a member.
Mary Hatton, public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hammond, Wednesday said she could not confirm the existence of an investigation or whether that investigation involved the subpoena by Department of Justice policy.
Van Til Wednesday said he was unaware of the subpoena.
“I have no idea what that’s about. I’m here just doing my job. I would have thought that they had them a long time ago,” Van Til said.
Van Til, 64, of Merrillville, handily won a bid for his sixth term in office in November despite the potential investigation. He won his first elected position at age 24 to the Highland Town Council.