Portage mayor remains in office

Tori Henderson, Editor-in-Chief

Portage Mayor James Snyder has decided to remain in office after the City Council as a whole called on him to resign due to recent issues.

Snyder was indicted for bribery and tax evasion in federal court in November and will be facing trial on April 10.

The indictment, along with Snyder’s recent credit card usage at the Utility Services Department led the Council to make the decision to move forward and request for the Mayor’s resignation.

“The indictment on bribery and tax fraud charges was a consideration but when added to the recent revelations, we were very concerned and felt action was necessary,” city councilman Collin Czilli said.

Snyder’s trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the inauguration with his family and two police administrators was paid for by the city. Snyder also attempted to pay his personal legal bills using utility funds.

Since Snyder is not resigning, the Council has decided to move forward on a plan to remove him from the Utility Services Board. Snyder serves as a chairman and draws a $30,000 salary from the board.

“Unfortunately, in Indiana, a mayor cannot be removed from office through impeachment or a recall election,” Czilli said. “The mayor can only be removed by resignation, death or a felony conviction.”

Snyder released a statement to the press via email in regards to his plans to remain in office.

“When I signed my oath of office there was no clause giving up my American civil Rights, including my presumed innocence,” Snyder said in his statement. “My rights and my oath of office are no different than Councilman [Mark] Oprisko or Councilman [John] Cannon’s rights.”

Snyder also stated that despite these problems weighing heavily on Portage, the city is “operating well under these circumstances.”

“Residents of Portage are receiving the great services they have come to expect and those services will continue because of the hard work of the public servants working,” Snyder said. “My dedication to working with other City elected officials has not feigned and together Portage will see more big things accomplished.”