Starke County Council Questions Commissioner Norem on Lawsuit

Starke County Jail

Starke County Commissioner, Kathy Norem, was questioned by the County Council Monday on funding the defense in a Class Action Lawsuit filed against the County by Starke County Jail inmate, Jack Haut.

The Council asked Norem if she had any idea what range of funding would be needed for this lawsuit.

“It’s too early for us to predict what’s going to happen with this, but it was suggested to us by the attorneys that are involved in this case that it will cost us at least six figures so we’re asking for $100,000 to be transferred,” said Norem. “We have attorneys in South Bend working on this case.”

The County could get by with $100,000, but it could be a lot more.

The County had realized over a $300,000 savings by working over the County employee health insurance this year, but if the cost goes over that amount, there’s no indication of where the funding would come from.

The jail has been a constant problem for two years with age and overcrowding contributing to many issues.