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Ex-state lawmaker to plead guilty to federal corruption charges

Sean Eberhart testifies in a House committee. Eberhart is a White man with dark hair, wearing glasses and a suit jacket.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Former state Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) served on the House Public Policy Committee that oversaw gaming legislation.

A former Indiana state lawmaker is set to plead guilty to federal corruption charges related to the state gaming industry.

U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers announced Friday that former state Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) agreed to plead guilty to charges that he accepted promises of a job with Spectacle Gaming with a $350,000 salary in return for his support of a 2019 bill, HEA 1015.

The measure in question allowed Spectacle to move two casino licenses on Lake Michigan to other areas “beneficial to Spectacle.”

READ MORE: Legislature approves ‘monumental shift’ to Indiana gambling industry

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The plea agreement does not include a specific sentence. Federal sentencing guidelines for the offense level are between 37 and 46 months. The government did agree to recommend a sentence on the lower range, based on Eberhart accepting responsibility.

He’ll also pay $60,000 in restitution, which was his legislative salary.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.