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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Missing funds result in felony charges

Thursday, May 17, 2007

(Photo)
On hand for the groundbreaking of two youth soccer fields at the Cloverdale Community Park Thursday included (from left) Sodbuster Excavating representative Kevin Lotz, Cloverdale Town Council representatives Don Sublett and Glenn Vickroy, Cloverdale Civic League representatives Angela Ladd, Michelle Zimmerman and Julie Hoffa, and Cloverdale Park Board representatives Ron Jones and Ted Hawkins.
Two felony charges of misappropriation of funds have been filed against an employee of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department after a recent state audit turned up missing money.

George Alexander was released from employment by Sheriff Mark Frisbie after the results of an investigation by Sgt. Scott Stockton of the Indiana State Police's white collar crimes division showed that at least $45,000 in federal grant money had been deposited into Alexander's personal bank account.

Alexander had been placed on administrative leave as of 4 p.m. May 10 by Sheriff Frisbie pending the outcome of the investigation.

"I go from wanting to throw up to being so angry I can't see straight," Frisbie told the BannerGraphic Thursday. "You just never think it's going to happen with someone you trust."

Indiana State Police were attempting to serve a warrant at Alexander's home Thursday morning, but as of presstime Alexander could not be located, the sheriff said.

The investigation began as the result of a standard audit by the State Board of Accounts for the sheriff's department. While all of the PCSD financial figures checked out, the auditors noted that the federal grant money did not add up.

Frisbie said an auditor showed him a cashier's check signed by Alexander that had no supporting documentation. When asked about the check, Frisbie said, Alexander stated he could not remember what it was for and said he would track it down. When that did not happen, Frisbie said he looked into the matter himself and then called ISP to take on the investigation.

The federal grant was intended for the purchase of equipment for the sheriff's department, Frisbie said. Some of that money was correctly used, but some was not.

"The big no-no was putting it into his personal account," Frisbie said.

The actions occurred during the last year, beginning in 2006, the sheriff stated.

Alexander had been with the department for more than four years. He was essential in helping Frisbie with his campaign for election as sheriff in 2002.

Ironically, Alexander served as the department's ombudsman, who is the ethical go-between for the sheriff's department.

He did that job as a volunteer for three years, but had been paid a salary of $18,000 through the sheriff's commissary account for the last 18 months.

Frisbie said other charges are possible against Alexander, as other funds are investigated.

No other department employees have been implicated in the investigation.



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