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Mary Elgin

Judge gives Mary Elgin a year in jail

Contributed By:The 411 News

Ex-Calumet Trustee convicted of public corruption, as was her predecessor

Former Calumet Township Mary Elgin was sentenced Wednesday in Hammond’s federal court to jail time and must pay restitution for using her office to support her political campaigns.

Elgin and three co-defendants were indicted in December 2014 with charges of public corruption. Charges were filed against her son Steven Hunter, the township’s director of information technology, her secretary Ethel Shelton, and her director of job training Alex Wheeler.

Elgin served as township trustee from 2003-2014. Her predecessor Dozier Allen also served prison time for public corruption.

Sentencing for Elgin came after the completion of the trial for Shelton and Wheeler in April. Wheeler was found not guilty. Shelton was convicted and her attorney is seeking a mistrial.

In 2017, Trustee Elgin and Hunter signed a joint plea agreement instead of having a trial.

Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen determined Elgin will spend a year in jail, starting August 15, 2018. Because of Elgin’s health, the judge recommended incarceration at a medical facility close to Chicago. She will pay restitution of $21,000.

Hunter’s sentencing is set for June 19. The government’s pre-sentencing report for Hunter recommended he serve 12-18 months. The judge may take into consideration the time he has already served. Hunter violated his bond agreement when he failed a drug test and was taken into custody for five months.

All four had been accused of using public offices and services of the Calumet Township for their own personal and political gain. Trustee Elgin was charged with leading “a scheme” of using the public office for her political fundraising committee, the Elgin Political Initiative Committee, and directing township employees to assist in fundraising and campaign work during her terms in office.

Prosecutors said Elgin’s campaign committee, EPIC, was operated by Elgin and her co-defendants during their office hours as paid employees of the township.

Story Posted:05/25/2018

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