More details released on legislator’s corruption investigation

Federal authorities have released more information about the case that led to the arrest and corruption investigation of a former Bartholomew County legislator.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, 57-year-old Sean Eberhart of Shelbyville, pled guilty to charges over conspiring to seek and receive the promise of future employment with a gaming company in exchange for his support of legislation that benefited the company.

Eberhart’s legislative district included northeastern Bartholomew County, as well as Shelby and parts of Hancock counties. After taking office in 2007, he decided last year not to seek re-election. Previously he served on the Shelby County Council.

Authorities say that Spectacle Entertainment wanted to purchase the state licenses for two casinos on the Lake Michigan waterfront and to relocate those casinos to other areas. The federal charges accuse Eberhart of accepting a promise of a $350 thousand a year job with Spectacle in exchange for supporting the license change and casino moves. The legislation reduced the license change fees from $100 million to $20 million and also provided tax incentives benefiting the company.

Eberhart faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.