ROACHDALE -- Roachdale Town Council members Jack Jones, Bill Long and Barbara Scott in an executive session Tuesday night gave the okay to attorney Tom Casey to pursue former Town Clerk Jennifer Crum for monies not collected following the theft of town funds.
Crum recently pled guilty to once charge of theft and was sentenced by Judge Robert Lowe in Superior Court.
In 2006, Crum paid herself two paychecks in a week. She was alleged to have done this on six different occasions for the amount of $3,720.
During the sentencing Casey told the Judge that Crum caused Roachdale to be out $64,000. This amount was due to late tax filings and mismanagement of funds by Crum prior to her overpaying herself.
Judge Lowe explained during the sentencing that he could not charge the debt amount from $3,720 in the criminal case and that the board could pursue a civil action against Crum to recoup the losses.
Crum was sentenced to two 48-hour sessions of weekend jail at the Putnam County Jail for the class-D felony charge. She was also given probation for one and a half years and 40 hours of community service.
One local resident asked the board members if they expected to get everything she cost the town from Crum.
Attorney Tom Casey responded, "I've been authorized to pursue her for every dime we didn't get."
In other business the council discussed a letter which is being sent to Casey's convenient store telling them they needed to change their building plan to include six inch sewer lines and a one inch water line before applying for a building permit.
The convenience store chain is hoping to build a store on the southwest corner of Hwy. 236 and Indiana Street in Roachdale.
Board members also approved the cost of a new sidewalk on Meridian Street of $8,250, asked town marshal Mike Mahoy to come back to the next meeting with some costs for a new patrol car and discussed abandoned houses in the town.
Several residents raised concerns about abandoned houses which they considered a hazard for children, and that are becoming the habitat for nuisance animals like skunks, feral cats and rats.
Council member Barbara Scott explained that the council recently adopted the state's ordinance on abandoned homes. They are sending homeowner's letters telling them they will be fined if the properties are not cleaned up. If they do not respond within a given timeframe, they will receive a fine and, again, have a certain amount of time to pay it and clean up the property. Then if nothing is done, the town can take action legally and tear down the property or clean up the site.
Local resident Joyce Rust asked the council for assistance in correcting a problem with a water problem in her basement. During the heavy June rains, fresh water ran into her basement and flooded it nearly to the first floor level. It ruined her furnace, hot water heater and stairway.
She has received $1,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to replace the furnace. Other damages are not covered by insurance or with aid from FEMA. The council tabled her request until they could talk to water and sewer employees about the issue.
The Roachdale Town Council meets on the send Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.