HAMMOND, Ind. — A former northwestern Indiana sheriff is appealing his conviction in a public corruption case.
A federal judge recently sentenced John Buncich to more than 15 years in prison on convictions of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from towing businesses. He was removed from office as Lake County sheriff after a jury convicted him in August of bribery and wire fraud charges.
Buncich denied all wrongdoing. A notice of appeal for the 72-year-old’s case was filed over the weekend.
Prosecutors presented evidence and testimony that Buncich accepted bribes to help tow operators get more jobs through the county. Buncich’s defense attorneys maintain he was doing legitimate campaign fundraising.
Buncich is a Democrat who was elected in 2015 to his fourth term as sheriff of Indiana’s second-most populous county.