More Indictments In East Chicago Voter Fraud Case

March 23, 2006

Another round of criminal indictments was announced yesterday, in connection with a Democratic mayoral primary nearly three years ago in East Chicago, IN. The Lake County, IN Vote Fraud Task Force announced 56 felony charges have been filed against a dozen people stemming from the May, 2003 primary.

Among those indicted are former East Chicago City Councilman Randall Blue Artis and Lake County Sheriff Deputy Ponciano Herrera. Charges range from perjury to using another person's name to vote.

This brings to 34 the total number of people criminally charged from that election. Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter says the probe will continue until all credible allegations are investigated and prosecuted.

In the May, 2003 primary, longtime East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick narrowly defeated challenger George Pabey. The Indiana Supreme Court overturned Pastrick's victory due to widespread voter fraud and ordered a special election in the fall of 2004.

Pabey beat Pastrick in the special election, thus ending Pastrick's 30-plus year reign as mayor.