The South Bend Tribune, "Democrat says foe broke law on homestead exemption filing."
The Elkhart Truth, "District 21 candidate's residency challenged."
I find Mr. Fish’s attempt to impugn my character and integrity absolutely offensive. To bring up legitimate questions seeking explanation would have been acceptable. Calling me a criminal in public is not. He shamelessly claimed that I have “committed a crime” that I am illegally avoiding property taxes and that I have committed perjury. This public slander of my reputation in front of my house is completely unacceptable.
When I purchased the home earlier this year, it was not in a livable condition. Among other things, I found termite damage and other conditions that prevented the home from being occupied. As confirmed by the St. Joseph County Auditor's office, I have until December 31st to move into my home and still claim a homestead exemption for this year. By that time, I fully anticipate completing the necessary remodeling and making the home livable.
With a simple phone call to the Auditor's office or any competent attorney, Mr. Fish could have obtained this information. Rather, he hastily and recklessly scheduled a press conference and accused me of criminal activity. This is dirty and desperate politics.
I demand a public retraction of these false statements from the Fish Campaign and an apology by Mr. Fish.
Then, I hope Mr. Fish turns his attention to the real issues in this campaign, including his vision for jobs. Voters want answers, not false allegations.
Update 10/4/2010 - Prosecutor concluded that criminal charges are not appropriate in this matter. Read the prosecutor's entire statement (PDF).