Former Portage Mayor Found Guilty

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(photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana) (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

A federal jury in Hammond has found former Republican Portage Mayor James Snyder guilty on two felony counts of bribery and tax obstruction. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the verdict resulted in Snyder's immediate removal from office. He had been serving in the final year of his second term as mayor.

Snyder was accused of accepting a $13,000 bribe in exchange for more than $1 million in garbage truck bids, according to the publication. Jurors also found him guilty of creating a sham company to hide money from the IRS.

The jury acquitted Snyder of a third bribery charge, in which he was accused of accepting a $12,000 bribe in exchange for a towing contract. 

Following the verdict, Snyder spoke to reporters outside the courthouse.

"This has been a really long road," said Snyder. "Today, we were able to knock one of the charges out. Thankfully, the jury could see through that one. The journey is still ongoing. We have two more counts that we have to deal with and we'll be talking about those and dealing with those as the time progresses."

Snyder is scheduled for sentencing May 24.

The Times reports Portage City Council President Sue Lynch, a Democrat, will serve as acting mayor until Portage Republican precinct committee members can hold a caucus to select a replacement to fulfill Snyder's term, which runs through December 31. 

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