Indiana

15 Indiana public officials face charges for corruption

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Investigators have charged 15 public officials from across the state of Indiana for the misappropriation of more than $1 million.

Five of those individuals face federal charges. The other 10 face state charges.

The Indiana State Board of Accounts says the individuals caused more than $1 million in losses for the state.

"Operation Public Accountability" has resulted in charges for city and county employees, fire department officials and school employees.

“Public officials work for the people not the other way around,” said United State Attorney Josh Minkler. “When the trust we give them is shattered and public officials line their pockets with taxpayer dollars, they should expect the scrutiny of state and federal law enforcement. All citizens deserve better from their public officials and this office intends to hold them accountable.”

Facing federal charges in the case:

  • Kellie Cline, extra-curricular activity treasurer at Greenwood Middle School. Investigators believe she stole $50,000 from the school's extra-curricular account
  • Sami Dillon, clerk-treasurer of Cayuga in Vermillion County. Investigators say Dillon stole $44,000 by not depositing utility receipts.
  • Clint Madden, Wayne Township Trustee and the Jonesville Volunteer Rural Fire Department Treasurer in Bartholomew County. Investigators believe he misappropriated more than $100,000.
  • Mathew Mathis, treasurer of the Hope Volunteer Fire Department in Bartholomew County. Officials say he stole more than $48,000 from the fire department.
  • Norman Burgess, treasurer of the Wayne Township Fire Department in Hamilton County. Investigators believe he stole $140,000 from the fire department.

Facing state charges:

  • Angela White, extra-curricular activity treasurer for Robey Elementary School in Marion County. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office believes she stole $10,000 from the school.
  • Rachel Bentz, jail matron for the Jay County Sheriff's Office. The Jay County Prosecutor's Office says she stole $9,000 by not depositing inmate trustee receipts.
  • Dallas Davis, clerk-treasurer for Russelville. The Putnam County Prosecutor's Office says Davis stole $7,600 by not properly depositing utility receipts.
  • David Buzzard, trustee for Rock Creek Township in Bartholomew County. He is accused of overpaying himself and his spouse by $27,000.
  • Jacqueline Fitzgerald and Monica Durrett, workers at the Indianapolis Public Bond Bank. They are accused of stealing $400,000.
  • Nicole DeMunck, AK Smith Center Treasurer for the Michigan City School System. The LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office says she stole $13,000.
  • Nichole Lowry, EMS director for Pulaski County. She is accused of stealing more than $12,000 in training funds.
  • Cheryl Pruitt, former superintendent for Gary Schools. She is accused of stealing more than $1,200 is reimbursement funds that she never spent.
  • Donald Minnick, Owen County Commissioner. He has already been found guilty of improperly selling a vehicle to the county at a loss of $7,500.

“These cases address core local government functions that impact the quality of life for residents of these communities - from public safety to after school activities to utility services – and erode public confidence in those trusted with public funds,” said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “These charges also demonstrate the strength of collaboration with our federal, state and local partners to mitigate the problem of corrupt officials across the state and the impact their greed has on their communities.”

News 8's Elizabeth Choi will have more on this case at 5 & 6.


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