Suit seeks to stop South Shore expansion funding plans

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SouthShore_Hegewisch_Lassen
A South Shore train arrives at Hegewisch station in Chicago in March 2017. Funding for a South Shore expansion plan are the subject of a lawsuit.
TRAINS: David Lassen

HAMMOND, Ind. — A critic of the planned South Shore commuter line expansion to Dyer, Ind., has filed suit to stop financing plans for the project, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

Ken Davidson, described by the newspaper as author of a local blog, said in his suit that the financing agreement for the 9-mile line between Dyer and Hammond, Ind., is an unconstitutional delegation of power.

The planned branch is known as the West Lake Corridor project. The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, operator of the South Shore passenger trains, adopted an agreement in July governing rules for financing the project. Officials for the two agencies have said the agreement is essential for borrowing money in the bond market to finance the project.

But Davidson told the paper the move limits public oversight because Regional Development Authority board members are not elected, and because they have passed some oversight powers onto staff members.

No court date has been scheduled. Officials for the two agencies declined comment pending review of the suit by RDA lawyers.

The Times says Davidson, an attorney who was disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2002, filed the suit without the assistance of an attorney.

The complete Times report is available here.

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