WBEZ | Rudy Clay http://www.wbez.org/tags/rudy-clay Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Clay plans for last days as Gary mayor http://www.wbez.org/story/clay-plans-last-days-gary-mayor-95200 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-08/92429857.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The city of Gary’s outgoing mayor makes no bones about how hard it has been for him to leave office this weekend.</p><p><a href="../../content-categories/72878">Rudy Clay</a>, 75, said it’s not because he’s lost his political mettle or his resolve to improve his city; instead, it was because of something he had no control over — his diagnosis of prostate cancer. During an interview with WBEZ earlier this week, Clay called this personal health obstacle the biggest disappointment of his political career.</p><p>"It was a devastating blow to me and my family," Clay said. "I really wanted to continue what we had already started here. I felt we had laid a real good foundation."</p><p>Clay passes the proverbial baton to newly-elected <a href="../../content-categories/71288">Karen Freeman-Wilson,</a> but not before noting the irony of the connection between the two. Clay publicly announced his departure from the race at a press conference in <a href="../gary-mayor-rudy-clay/gary-mayor-rudy-clay-not-seeking-re-election-84924">April</a>. At that same event, Clay endorsed Freeman-Wilson, one of his most prominent opponents. Clay had faced Freeman-Wilson, Indiana’s former Attorney General, before. In 2003 both had sought the mayor’s seat, only to be bested by incumbent Scott King.</p><p>Clay had dropped out of the 2003 mayoral race early, but his decades-worth of political connections eventually paid off. In 2006, King left office and, just a few weeks later, Democrats placed Clay in the mayor’s chair.</p><p>He was stunned.</p><p>“It was sort of a clarion call — it wasn’t really on my mind,” Clay said. “It was quite humbling for me to even accomplish that. I said, ‘Gee wiz, God had to be in the plan, there.’”</p><p>By the 2007 mayoral election, Clay consolidated his support and retained his office. But by then, any pretense of an easy job had evaporated. The city government was dogged by more than $70 million in debt, and the state had begun capping property tax rates, effectively ham-stringing municipal governments’ easiest and most direct means of raising revenue.</p><p>Clay and his supporters sought relief through Indiana’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board, a body meant to hear local governments’ arguments to lift such caps on a year-by-year basis.</p><p>Clay is proud that Gary is the only city to have sought and received such help from the DUAB. And though he caught flak from some home owners and business groups, he went to the board three times, making Gary’s effective property tax rates the highest in the state.</p><p>And, Clay said, he’d proudly do it again.</p><p>“I had no shame, I might add,” he said. “I’d say if there’s any board that wanted to help the city of Gary — &nbsp;financially or otherwise — &nbsp;I’d be the first in line.”</p><p>Clay said he plans to write a book about his forty-year political career and how it’s intersected with the history of Gary. Beyond that, he would only say he’s going to remain the city’s biggest booster and repeatedly make the case that every city in the region — &nbsp;even Chicago — &nbsp;should take notice of the fate of Gary, Indiana. After all, he said, no city’s assets should be wasted.</p><p>“Northwest Indiana, Lake County, Indiana, and the state of Indiana cannot be what they ought to be until Gary, Indiana, is what it ought to be,“ Clay said.</p></p> Thu, 29 Dec 2011 21:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/clay-plans-last-days-gary-mayor-95200 Two years after death, Gary still celebrates Michael Jackson’s career http://www.wbez.org/story/two-years-after-death-gary-still-celebrates-michael-jackson%E2%80%99s-career-88282 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-23/use this one ....jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Pop star Michael Jackson spent just five years of his life in Gary, Indiana, but two years after his death the town is still celebrating his entire career.</p><p>Performers, vendors and fans are likely to be on hand Saturday at Jackson's boyhood home: a white, one-story house at 23rd and Jackson. A monument on the front lawn proudly marks the spot.&nbsp;</p><p>One person who’s eager to show his support is Kelechukwu Brnfre, who heads a performing arts troupe in Gary called Beautiful Soul.</p><p>“We base our work on the creativity of Michael Jackson and on the hard work ethic of all the (steel) mill people here,” Brnfre told WBEZ earlier this week. Brnfre says he’s heard all the talk about Gary’s plans to memorialize Michael, including the creation of a Jackson museum. The plans were discussed as late as last year, when Mayor Rudy Clay and Michael Jackson’s father, Joseph, touted the creation of a $300 million complex to commemorate the life and times of the entire Jackson clan.&nbsp;But the effort’s fallen flat, leading one city official to call it “all but dead.”</p><p>Still, Brnfre says Gary should celebrate. “Right now, we have the house. You have a historical route where you can put different places where he actually performed. We have a lot of things tangibly that we can work with on the interim of waiting on something big like that,” Brnfre said. “The people don’t really need anything huge to celebrate him. We’ve always celebrated him no matter what.”</p><p>Brnfre’s troupe will show their moves outside the house Saturday afternoon.&nbsp;The event is expected to include food, T-shirt vendors and music. “The world can expect a ‘Tribute to Michael’ every year in June in Gary, Indiana,” Mayor Clay stated in a press release. “The world is invited.”</p><p>Michael Jackson died in his California home at the age of 50, in an apparent accidental overdose of sleep medication.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/two-years-after-death-gary-still-celebrates-michael-jackson%E2%80%99s-career-88282 Gary won’t have to gut budget http://www.wbez.org/story/duab/gary-won%E2%80%99t-have-gut-budget-85151 <p><p>&nbsp;</p><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: rgb(237, 245, 250); font: normal normal normal 12px/170% Verdana, sans-serif; color: rgb(73, 73, 73); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; "><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.8652317443402311" style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">The city of Gary got a financial lifeline of sorts Wednesday when the state of Indiana’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) approved the city’s petition for property tax relief.</span></font></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">The decision means Gary won’t have to cut $11 million from its budget of $41 million. </span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">Instead, the DUAB, is requiring the Steel City to trim just $ 1 million this year. </span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">That was good news to Gary Mayor Rudy Clay who attended the hearing in Indianapolis.</span></font></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial">“Everybody knows our [budget] numbers have been going down the last three years,” Clay said. “I’m gratified the board approved our petition.”</font></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">This is the third year the DUAB has granted Gary an exemption to the property tax caps. Clay expected this year’s petition to come through because the city has cut its budget by about one-third since the Indiana General Assembly approved a state-wide property tax cap three years ago.</p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">In 2008, Gary’s budget stood at $63 million.&nbsp;The property tax caps have hit Gary particularly hard because its tax base has dwindled, mostly due to business disinvestment and continued population decline.</p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">Gary City Council vice president Kyle Allen says the city is also hurting because of tax breaks given to the city’s biggest employer, U.S. Steel.</span><br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">He says U.S Steel successfully petitioned the state to reduce the company’s property tax burden.</span></font></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">Allen says, given these circumstances, Gary simply needs more tax money to function.</span></font></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial">“You want frugality and you want cities to be efficient but I think people have to recognize that government has to function, especially when it comes to core services,” Allen said.</font></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">City officials eventually prevailed in making their case for a property tax cap exemption, but some Gary residents had been on the other side of the argument. More than a dozen residents had asked the DUAB not to grant an exemption, even if that meant cutting city services. They had argued the city should tighten its belt instead of maintaining the highest property tax rates of any city in Indiana.&nbsp;</span></font></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000000" face="Arial"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; ">While Indiana’s property tax cap has reduced revenue for cities throughout the state, only Gary has asked the DUAB for state assistance. This is the third and final year Gary can ask for such help from the state from the DUAB, which disbands after this year.</span></font></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 13 Apr 2011 20:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/duab/gary-won%E2%80%99t-have-gut-budget-85151 Hammond now Northwest Indiana's largest city http://www.wbez.org/story/census/hammond-now-nwi%E2%80%99s-largest-city <p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->In 1960 the population of Gary, Indiana, stood at 178,000. But after that zenith, the count was on the downslide. It started out as a trickle, but with each ten-year census, it was clear the number of people leaving the city was mounting.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Over the next five decades, Gary, the city once known as &ldquo;The City of The Century,&rdquo; took its knocks. It experienced racial strife, industrial layoffs and, at times, rampant crime. But even through all that, Gary had remained the largest city in Northwest Indiana.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Now, it&rsquo;s lost that claim to fame.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday show Gary lost more than 21 percent of its population during the last 10 years. The official count now stands at 80,294, less than half of the city&rsquo;s population in 1960.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Gary&rsquo;s neighbor to the West, Hammond, couldn&rsquo;t help but notice the latest census numbers.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Despite the fact that Hammond saw a two percent decline in its own population, Gary lost population much more quickly between 2000 and today. So, Hammond can now boast being Lake County&rsquo;s largest city, having edged out Gary by a mere 536 residents.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s the first time Hammond has recorded more residents than Gary since the 1910 census. Back then, Hammond had 20,000 residents to Gary&rsquo;s 15,000. But Gary was a fledgling town; after all, it had only been established as a city in 1906. Hammond, meanwhile, had a running start; it was founded in 1884.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But none of this <span style="">&nbsp;</span>history matters to Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, Jr.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He&rsquo;s only concerned that Hammond has claimed the top spot in 2010.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;As mayor, I am thrilled beyond words,&rdquo; McDermott said Thursday. &ldquo;I have always felt that Hammond was going to be bigger than Gary by the 2020 census. But the fact that it came out bigger now, I was flabbergasted to be honest with you.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">McDermott said some predicted Hammond would lose far more than the 2,000 residents indicated in census data.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He said the attrition could be attributed to the city&rsquo;s removal of a troublesome housing development on the city&rsquo;s south side off the Borman Expressway.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Meanwhile, Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary, was livid over the census data, and stated he believes the numbers are inaccurate.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;Gary has thousands of more residents than what&rsquo;s on paper,&rdquo; Clay said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Clay said some residents simply refused to fill out census forms, with the consequence that Gary could lose eligibility for some federal funds.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Clay said the city plans to appeal the census bureau figures, all in the hope they do another count. He says Gary had such a recount 10 years ago, and that effort boosted the city&rsquo;s official population figure by thousands.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 02:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/census/hammond-now-nwi%E2%80%99s-largest-city Gary residents decry city’s request for bailout http://www.wbez.org/story/duab/gary-residents-decry-city%E2%80%99s-request-bailout <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Use this one.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Richard Barnes has had it when it comes to hearing about property tax relief for his hometown of Gary, Indiana. <br />Barnes traveled to Indianapolis Friday morning to urge members of the Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board not to allow Gary to collect another $11 million in property taxes from homeowners and businesses. <br />&ldquo;Property tax relief for the city is tax payments for residents,&rdquo; Barnes told the board. &ldquo;The time has come to provide relief for the residents, not the government.&rdquo; <br />Barnes was among a handful of residents who oppose the DUAB granting Gary an exception to the state&rsquo;s property tax cap. That cap limits local governments&rsquo; property tax rates. Gary is asking for a one-year tax rate of three percent, a higher rate than any other Indiana city. <br />Indiana voters recently approved an amendment to the state constitution that puts the property tax cap on its firmest legal footing. The amendment caps the amount of property taxes for different types of property: one percent for homeowners, two&nbsp; percent on rental units and three percent from businesses. <br />Gary officials told the panel it cannot operate its city within the confines of such caps. <br />If it did, the city would have about a $30 million operating budget for a city that encompassesnearly 60square miles and has 95,000 residents. <br />Just a few years ago, the city&rsquo;s budget hovered at $75 million budget; however, the tax caps and reductions in the amount of tax from U.S. Steel Company &ndash; the city&rsquo;s largest employer &ndash;is forcing the city to make drastic cuts. <br />Just in the last week, the city&rsquo;s laid off more than 30 fire fighters and shuttered three fire stations. <br />Gary Mayor Rudy Clay and Controller Celita Green&nbsp; urged the board to allow relief for this year. Both claim Gary is doing all it can to reduce expenses and is following recommendations set forth by Public Financial Management, a Philadelphia-based firm. PFM was hired at the state&rsquo;s insistence to be the city&rsquo;s fiscal monitor. <br />The DUAB has already provided some tax relief for Gary last year and in 2009, but by next year, the board loses authority to provide any property tax relief. <br />&nbsp;<br />During this final go-around, some on the DUAB wonder if Gary is doing all it can to reduce expenditures. Board member Mark GiaQuinta of Fort Wayne was shocked to learn that Gary city council members earn annual salaries of $26,000, among the highest in the state. <br />He said it should be cut. <br />&ldquo;I think it would be very beneficial to the community and to all of you personally to announce a dramatic decrease in your salaries. I just think it would be a very important thing to do,&rdquo; GiaQuinta said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not going to change anything. It&rsquo;s kind of window dressing. But sometimes window dressing is important.&rdquo;<br />GiaQuinta said he&rsquo;s sympathic to Gary&rsquo;s financial woes and the unique plight of the city&rsquo;s history of social deterioration and industrial disinvestment. He said he doesn&rsquo;t believe there&rsquo;s another city Gary&rsquo;s size that&rsquo;s being asked to make ends meet with a $30 million budget. <br /><br />However, GiaQuinta said Gary needs to look at what more it can do to cut its budget because by next year, it will have no choice. <br />He and other board members urged Gary to look at transferring or consolidating some of its services for health and animal control to Lake County, Indiana. <br />&nbsp;&ldquo;You&rsquo;re going to have to think outside the box. You&rsquo;re going to have to create the new paradigm because you&rsquo;re not going to have any choice (by next year),&rdquo; GiaQuinta said. <br />But city officials contend the county has its own financial issues, and isn&rsquo;t necessarily willing to take on the added cost of shouldering services for Gary residents. <br />Near the end of the city&rsquo;s presentation, several residents had harsh words for their hometown including Jim Nowacki, a longtime critic of Gary city government. <br />&nbsp;&ldquo;The reason the city can&rsquo;t function under the tax caps is because of waste, corruption and the scandalous abuse of the authority given to them,&rdquo; Nowacki said. &ldquo;I want the board to understand that this (Gary) is a nonfunctioning unit of government and not grant relief. What you got here is not simply a unit of government that is in distress. You&rsquo;ve got a unit of government that is a corrupt criminal enterprise.&rdquo;<br />The board is expected to make a decision on the city&rsquo;s request by March. <br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 08 Jan 2011 00:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/duab/gary-residents-decry-city%E2%80%99s-request-bailout Gary mayoral race heats up http://www.wbez.org/story/gary-mayoral-race/gary-mayoral-race-heating <p><p><meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type"><meta content="Word.Document" name="ProgId"><meta content="Microsoft Word 11" name="Generator"><meta content="Microsoft Word 11" name="Originator"><link href="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\mpuente\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_filelist.xml" rel="File-List" /><o:smarttagtype name="place" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype name="City" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype name="State" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style type="text/css"> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->We&rsquo;ve been hearing a lot about <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Chicago</st1:city></st1:place>&rsquo;s mayoral candidates: <o:p></o:p>who&rsquo;s going to run and challenges to certain candidate&rsquo;s bid for mayor.</meta></meta></meta></meta></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>But one of the more interesting races for mayor isn&rsquo;t even <st1:city w:st="on">Chicago</st1:city> but just across Lake Michigan from us in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Gary</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">Indiana</st1:state></st1:place>. Several candidates have come forward to throw their hat in the ring to lead <st1:place w:st="on">Northwest Indiana</st1:place>&rsquo;s largest city. <o:p></o:p>And even though the primary isn&rsquo;t for another five months there&rsquo;s excitement in the air.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>WBEZ's Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puenter spoke with WBEZ's Melba Lara about the race.</o:p><st1:city w:st="on"></st1:city><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place></p> <p>&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 11 Dec 2010 00:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/gary-mayoral-race/gary-mayoral-race-heating Gary, Indiana official tied to mortgage fraud scheme http://www.wbez.org/story/corruption/gary-indiana-official-tied-mortgage-fraud-scheme <p><p><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\mpuente\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_filelist.xml" /><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="country-region"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="PlaceName"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="State"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="PersonName"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style type="text/css"> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Garamond; panose-1:2 2 4 4 3 3 1 1 8 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:647 0 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></meta></meta></meta></meta>A woman in charge of handling millions of dollars in federal stimulus cash for Northwest Indiana&rsquo;s largest city has been tied to a mortgage fraud scheme. &nbsp;</p> <div>Jacquelyn Drago Hunter has not been accused of wrongdoing in her capacity as director of community development for the city of Gary, Ind. But this week, a federal grand jury returned a six count indictment against the 60-year-old Hunter for allegedly providing false information on forms submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. </div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>She&rsquo;s also accused of forging the names of two individuals on those same forms submitted to HUD. In all, Hunter faces a six-count indictment; four for wire fraud and two for identity theft. Hunter, who lives in Merrillville, Ind., works at Gary City Hall near the office of Mayor Rudy Clay. </div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In her job with the city, Hunter is responsible for handling $5.4 million provided to the city as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Ironically, the funds the city received for reinvestment came from HUD.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>When contacted, Clay did not say whether he intends to fire Hunter. He said she&rsquo;s done a great job as community development director.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Others indicted with Hunter are Jerry Haymon, 44, and Philip Rucker, 39, both of Gary; and Sheila Chandler, 51, of Schererville, Ind.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rucker serves as a reserve officer with the Gary Police Department.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>The U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s Office in Hammond says the indictment came from a joint investigation between the FBI, IRS and the Indiana State Police. Assistant U.S. attorney Gary Bell will prosecute the case.</div> <p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 26 Oct 2010 22:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/corruption/gary-indiana-official-tied-mortgage-fraud-scheme