Ex-East Chicago Mayor, Aides Ordered to Pay $108 Million

Civil suit alleged they spent public money to court voters

Thursday, Mar 11, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 PM CDT
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Ex-East Chicago Mayor, Aides Ordered to Pay $108 Million

Robert Pastrick

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One of the most powerful political figures in Northwest Indiana for decades has been ordered to pay more than $108 million in civil damages in an alleged sidewalks-for-votes scheme.

Robert Pastrick was the mayor of East Chicago for 33 years and was accused of running the town as a "corrupt enterprise," by former Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter

The suit said Pastrick and others spent $24 million in public money on private driveways, patios and walkways to court voters in the 1999 Democratic primary.

Pastrick was never charged criminally. No one answered his lawyer's phone after business hours Thursday.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said it's the first time a city government has been adjudged a corrupt organization under federal racketeering laws.

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