Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Times Reports Lake County Officials Appeal Tax Collector's Suit

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

Lake County officials hope to avoid a $1.4 million judgment a former tax collector has won against them.
Lake County Attorney John Dull said Monday the Board of Commissioners is asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a local judge's ruling that the county failed to completely pay U.S. Research Consultants Inc. for work associated with collecting their delinquent taxes.
Lake Superior Court Judge Calvin D. Hawkins six months ago awarded the firm $1,076,896 in damages and $393,000 in interest.
The suit revolves around contracts Roosevelt Powell's U.S. Research negotiated with the county between 2000 and 2006 to collect from thousands of property owners who refused to pay their county taxes.
Dull stated in a press release, "There are important issues in Judge Hawkins' ruling that merit an appeal by the County of Lake."
That appeal has been filed by attorneys with the law firm of Hoeppner, Wagner and Evans of Merrillville and Valparaiso and is still pending.
Powell was a friend of the late Rudy Clay, who was then a county commissioner and later a Gary mayor.
Powell became entitled, under contract, to receive 20 percent of money collected from delinquent taxpayers assigned to him the first four years, and 15 percent afterward.