Kosciusko County Fairgrounds seeks new judge and venue

Kosciusko County Community Fair has filed motions seeking a new judge and venue its its court case to allow motorized racing at the fairgrounds.

A Circuit Court Judge granted the motion for a change of judge, according to the Times-Union.

The change of venue request comes as fair representatives say Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer is related to one of the plaintiffs.

Mayor Thallemer tells News Now Warsaw he is not related to any plaintiff in the case, and in fact his niece is married to a defendant’s son.

The Fair also claimed Monday that the mayor openly opposed the manner in which events were taking place at the fairgrounds. Thallemer says he approved permits requested by the fairgrounds board for proposed racing and non-racing events in 2018. He says he has not attended any meetings organized by the plaintiff, nor has he contributed funds to support their efforts.

Mayor Thallemer added that he continues to provide city services for all fairground events including fair week at the Fair Board’s request.

Fair representatives also requested a change of venue because they feel it is “unlikely to receive a fair trial on account of local prejudice or bias regarding a party or the claim or defense presented by a party.”

They highlighted the high publicity of the case in Kosciusko County, which they say could affect the outcome of a jury trial.

A judge has not yet ruled on the change of venue request.

In the meantime, motorized racing is still not allowed at the fairgrounds due to a preliminary injunction granted May 16.

According to the injunction, during the court proceedings, the Fair is “prohibited from conducting, running, permitting or allowing motorized racing on fairgrounds property”.