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Ex-state lawmaker to plead guilty to federal corruption charges

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 or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.