Indiana AG sues library director

March 23, 2011

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Manuel "Manny" Montalvo had been in legal trouble for a while as director of the public library in East Chicago, Indiana, a small industrial city just outside Chicago. But now Montalvo could be facing financial trouble, too. Montalvo was convicted in Cook County on misdemeanor charges of battery and disorderly conduct following a Cubs game in 2010. He had gotten into an altercation with transit police on the South Shore line while returning home from the game.

Earlier this month, an audit by the Indiana State Board of Accounts found Montalvo used thousands of dollars in library funds for repairs to his personal vehicle. The audit also found he took unauthorized trips to New York and Puerto Rico for non-library business.

Last week, the board of directors of the East Chicago Public Library Board fired Montalvo from his job.
On Tuesday, Indiana’s attorney General Greg Zoeller went a step further—he seized Montalvo’s own property by filing a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Lake County.

In all, Zoeller wants Montalvo to pay back at least $12,000 dollars.

A Lake Circuit Court judge approved Zoeller’s request for a temporary restraining order to freeze Montalvo’s personal assets, including his bank account, house and cars.

Zoeller will be back in court next week, seeking approval to make the temporary freeze permanent.

A 2009 Indiana law gives Zoeller authority to seek assets of public employees when misappropriation is suspected.
Montalvo has not been criminally charged. Last week, he threatened a lawsuit against the library board for firing him.