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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ind. Courts - "Special prosecutor named in LaPorte case [against LaPorte prosecutor]"

Updating this ILB post from July 5, 2012, Stan Maddux of reported Dec. 23rd for the South Bend Tribune in a story that begins:

A special prosecutor will examine whether the LaPorte County prosecutor committed a crime by forging the signature of his ex-wife and a notary public on divorce-related documents.

The outside prosecutor, Michael Dvorak of St. Joseph County, was appointed Friday by a judge in Lake County to determine if there was any criminal intent on the part of LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi.

Last year Szilagyi served a 60-day suspension of his legal license ordered by the Indiana Supreme Court, which did not cite any criminal wrongdoing. In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated his ''misconduct'' stemmed from a desire to avoid an unpleasant conversation with his former wife about the need for her assistance.

The court also ruled Szilagyi should have known the importance of authentic legal documents and how his actions could damage the reputation of lawyers and the integrity of the legal system.

Szilagyi said what he did was wrong but there was no criminal intent because the divorce settlement that included transfer of the marital home to him had already been agreed to.

He said he was only trying to clean up refinancing documents that his ex-wife, Susan, mistakenly signed using her new last name, Weinkauff, instead of her married name as required.

Szilagyi said the wrong name on the title wasn't discovered until just before the refinancing was set for closing. In a hurry, he noted, he made a poor decision and signed the marital name of his ex-wife and the name of his secretary as notary on the deed without his secretary's permission.
"It was stupid on my part,” he said. “It was a bad judgment call.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 26, 2013 08:59 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts