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Former State Senator, Gaming Executive Charged With Campaign Finance Violations

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Courtesy of @Brent_Waltz on Twitter
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A former Indiana state senator and a top Hoosier gaming industry executive were charged with violating federal campaign finance laws, federal authorities announced Tuesday.

The indictment of former Sen. Brent Waltz (R-Greenwood) and Spectacle Entertainment Vice President John Keeler comes out of Waltz’s 2016 campaign for the 9th Congressional District. Authorities allege the two men illegally funneled contributions to Waltz’s campaign through Keeler’s company, which was then known as New Centaur.

Spectacle, Keeler’s current company, owns two casinos in Gary. A Spectacle subsidiary – Spectacle Jack – is also behind the new casino being built in Terre Haute. But the Indiana Gaming Commission only approved that license for Spectacle Jack earlier this year after Keeler and then-Spectacle CEO Rod Ratcliff divested themselves from ownership in the Terre Haute facility.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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.