ELKHART — A planned court hearing in civil lawsuits against an Elkhart County commissioner over private business dealings didn’t happen Tuesday afternoon in LaGrange County, but that doesn’t mean nothing happened in the case.
Witnesses were there, ready to testify on both sides of the suits involving Terry Rodino’s business Duro Inc., but after more than two hours of back-room negotiations, attorneys sent the witnesses home. An attorney for the minority partners in the business, Tim Dugle and Amit Shah, said there may be some developments in the case, but not yet.
At issue is a renewed push by Dugle and Shah to have the company placed in a receivership, where a court-appointed individual oversees the business.
Dugle’s and Shah’s attorneys renewed the push last month after news surfaced that Rodino is under criminal investigation.
LaGrange Circuit Judge J. Scott VanDerbeck scheduled the case for a hearing Tuesday, but never took the bench as the attorneys met with him in his chambers and then negotiated in private.
VanDerbeck is handling the case because of the potential appearance of a conflict of interest with the courts of Elkhart County, where Rodino serves as one of the three commissioners.
Rodino’s role as a commissioner is also why decisions on possible criminal charges will be made by the Allen County prosecutor’s office, which has yet to announce any decisions.