(CBS) – The top law enforcement officer for Lake County, Indiana — on trial for corruption – made his case on the stand Thursday.
He’s accused of trading towing business for campaign cash.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez was in court in Hammond, Ind.
It was Day 9 of the trial. When Sheriff Buncich was asked if tow drivers could pay to get on the county tow list, he was emphatic, saying absolutely not.
“I’m not guilty,” Buncich said outside federal court, flanked by his defense attorneys.
“I’ve had the opportunity to say exactly what happened, and we’re going to get even more out tomorrow,” he said.
In a surveillance video shown in court, a government informant hands over $7,500 in cash to Buncich.
On the stand, Buncich denied that had anything to do with whether the tow company contributor, Scott Jurgensen, would get tow business.
Buncich’s attorneys say fundraising is part of the job.
“Probably every politician for major offices in the state of Indiana raises funds,” Larry Rogers says.
Rogers says the sheriff never required his worker to make contributions or sell campaign tickets.
In fact, defense attorneys say the government videos show the office door is wide open because there’s nothing to hide.