New allegations brought up against Starke County Councilman DeCola

Starke County Councilman Tom DeCola reading over the packet of witness statements concerning his alleged inappropriate behavior at a conference in Indianapolis.
James Master

During the December 2018 meeting of the Starke County Council, an allegation was brought up by Commissioner Kathy Norem stating that Councilmen-elect Thomas DeCola falsified his place of legal residency.

Norem claimed that the address that DeCola wrote on his candidate application was not his actual place of residency.

At the meeting, DeCola denied the claim stating that he did live at the address 7410 W. 250 South in North Judson.

At the meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, Commissioner Norem informed those that attended that the Starke County Election Board has not met yet to discuss the allegation.

The board meets on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

President Pearman asked the council for a motion to have the Election Board as well as the Republican Party of Starke County “to vet this and report back to the council either with a confirmation that the candidate is from that district, does live in that district, and qualifies for that seat or that they’ve replaced the candidate with another suitable person from the district.”

The motion was made and seconded.

The motion was approved by a 5-1 vote with DeCola against it.

After that, Commissioner Norem presented new allegations concerning Council Member DeCola’s conduct during a conference.

“I’m asking the County Council to address the behavior and actions of Mr. DeCola when he was in Indianapolis at the Association of Indiana Counties meeting as a councilman-elect,” Norem said.

Norem passed out a packet that contained two witness statements as well as a police report that identify DeCola “accosting the women there in an inappropriate, sexual manner. Offering them cocaine if they will allow him to come up to stay in his room.”

Read more about the new allegations concerning DeCola in the latest edition of The Leader. It is on sale now. Call 574-936-3101 to subscribe.