Mayor of Michigan City Requests Special Prosecutor As He Faces Felony Charges
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- The mayor of Michigan City has asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed as he is being charged with eight felonies.
Mayor Ron Meer is accused of intimidation, false informing and official misconduct. The charges stem from the arrest of his step-son on drug charges by the LaPorte County Drug Task Force.
Court documents say that, according to Meer, a confidential informant came to his house one night in the middle of October to tell him LaPorte County Prosecutor John Lake and the task force had "set-up" the arrest of his step-son, Adam Bray. Meer then relayed this information to then-Police Chief Mark Swistek then told Indiana State Police and the FBI.
When investigators met with the informant about what Meer said, the informant denied ever having said that to Meer. The documents say the informant even gave investigators his phone and they found no evidence of him ever having contacted Meer.
It was not long after that Michigan City Police Lieutenant Tim Richardson received this email from Meer.
"Good afternoon chief, immediately reassign all of the individuals that I discussed in our phone conversation."
The individuals Meer is referring to are the Michigan City officers who were involved in the arrest of his step-son. Richardson, in the court documents, said he "took it as Mayor Ron Meer is trying to intimidate me."
Refusing to carry out the mayor's orders, Chief Swistek and two of his assistants resigned.
Mayor Meer has since walked back claims that top law enforcement officers were targeting his son. Now that charges have been filed against him, Meer's attorneys are calling the charges, filed by Prosecutor John Lake, a "political hatchet job." They also say the charges "appear to be the worst breach of ethics and professionalism that I have seen in the 43 years I have been an attorney."
Meer's attorneys have now filed for a special prosecutor to be appointed in the case. If Meer ends up being convicted of all the charges against him he could spend the next 15 years in prison, not to mention losing his post as mayor if re-elected.