Starke County Treasurer’s Office Open; Commissioners To Defend Actions in Court

Starke County Treasurer Linda Belork assists a customer over the phone

The Starke County Commissioners are in a bit of hot water following their order to close the treasurer’s office in light of Judge John Potter’s order to reinstate Linda Belork as the county treasurer. The commissioners voted to close the office because Belork did not have a surety bond in place as required by state law, but a telephonic case management conference held earlier this week at the order of Judge Potter found that the commissioners had disobeyed his order.

Starke County Attorney Martin Lucas and Belork’s counsel, Ethan Lowe, were part of the hearing in which the court found that the commissioners had disobeyed the order and interfered with its execution when the commissioners closed the office, effectively circumventing Potter’s order to reinstate Belork.

In compliance with the Jasper Circuit Court’s ruling that denied the Starke County Commissioner’s Motion to Clarify Order, Commissioner Dan Bridegroom issued a press release declaring that the treasurer’s office is once again open. The office is fully operational, and Belork has been granted access to all computers and accounts in the treasurer’s office. Tax payments can now be accepted.

All three commissioners and the county attorney, as well as Belork and her counsel, will appear in Jasper Circuit Court on Monday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. to explain why they should not be held in indirect contempt of court.