Jury deliberates in Lake County, Ind., sheriff’s corruption trial


The fate of the sheriff of Lake County, Ind., who is accused of corruption, is in the hands of a jury Thursday morning.

After 13 days of testimony, the case went to the jury Wednesday. They deliberated for about four hours Wednesday night. They will be back at it later Thursday morning.

During the trial, federal prosecutors argued Lake County Indiana Sheriff John Buncich used his office’s control over the towing program to get kickbacks and bribes from tow operators, usually in the form of campaign contributions or fundraising tickets.

Buncich denied ever requiring towing companies to pay him in order to get business from his agency. He also accused the FBI and government informants of setting him up.

He blamed sloppy bookkeeping for $7,500 he received from a towing company operator not showing up in his political campaign account.

Buncich is serving in his fourth term as sheriff.

Jury deliberations are expected to resume at 9 a.m. Thursday at the federal courthouse in Hammond, Ind.

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