Article: ‘Scheming’ former Portage official gets year of probation; sentenced for felony conflict of interest

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‘Scheming’ former Portage official gets year of probation; sentenced for felony conflict of interest

AMY LAVALLEY, 12 April 2021

Former Portage Clerk-Treasurer Christopher Stidham will have to give up his law license and the chance of future work in the public sector, much less a run for office, after being sentenced Monday on a Level 6 felony count of conflict of interest.

“A white-collar crime is still a crime,” Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer said, later noting Stidham’s “scheming” in the case.

He was sentenced to one year in Porter County Jail, suspended and to be served on probation and must pay restitution. He had already paid $16,000 before his sentencing hearing and was to turn a check in for $40,564.55 to the County Clerk’s Office after the hearing. Some of the funds will go to the State Board of Accounts for a special audit, with the rest returning to the city of Portage.

Stidham, 38, of the 3900 block of Wingstem Drive, was charged in February 2020 with official misconduct, also a felony, for allegedly hiring his then-girlfriend, Rachel Glass, whom he later married, as a contractor for bookkeeping and other services for the city that were never provided.

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