Clerk said to owe town $49,000

Thursday, December 6, 2007

ROACHDALE -- Indiana State Police are investigating claims that the former Roachdale Clerk-Treasurer owes the town more than $49,000.

Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter confirmed on Wednesday that he has asked ISP Det. Scott Stockton to look into the results of the 2006 state audit which states that former town clerk Jennifer Archer Crum has been asked to reimburse $49,337.40 to the town.

The audit shows that amount as the penalties, interest and other charges the town incurred from 2005-07 while Archer was in charge of the town's finances.

Among those charges are late fees for submitting withholding taxes and utility sales taxes, unemployment taxes, and loan payments to Ford Motor Credit Co. The town was also charged nonsufficient fund bank fees amounting to $50.

The audit also found that Crum overpaid herself on seven payroll checks in the amount of $4,340. To alleviate the overpayment, Crum sacrificed one payroll check in 2007, leaving an overpayment of $3,720. She reimbursed the town that amount on Oct. 3. She resigned from her post on Oct. 4.

The audit also shows that:

* Town funds were used to purchase a Christmas dinner and gifts for town employees.

* Days of payroll checks indicate that some payments were made to employees prior to the receipt of services.

* Capital asset records are not being maintained for the town.

* An annual report for 2006 was not presented to the state for examination.

* There were several claims in 2006 that were not included on the check registers the town board approved.

* The town utility did not always shut off delinquent customers as required by the ordinance, which resulted in a large past due balance in accounts receivable.

* Delinquent wastewater fees and penalties had not been recorded or certified with the county to result in a lien against the property.

* The detailed customer deposit register did not reconcile with the customer deposit amount recorded on the general ledger.

* The required state forms were not in use.

Those actions violate either state law or the Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns.

The audit shows that the report was discussed with town council members William R. Long, Jack Jones and Barbara Scott on Oct. 4, and they concurred with the state audit findings. The report was also discussed with Crum on Oct. 4.

An official response to the audit was submitted by Scott, who asked for leniency for Crum.

"Although what she did was wrong, I feel that any further punishment is not needed," Scott wrote. "Living in a small town sometimes can be a burden with everyone knowing everything that goes on. I think that the embarrassment and shame she has placed on her family and friends is enough of a punishment."

Prosecutor Bookwalter had no time frame on when the state police investigation would be completed, or if criminal charges would be recommended.

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  • Are you kidding? Embarrassment is the punishment for stealing? Are you kidding me? I sit here and read these headlines and think, how embarrassed I am for this county!! Start prosecuting these people, that's what our prosecutor is being paid to do. If it's against the law, then PROSECUTE! She's embarrassed enough, enough already Putnam County. You're a joke.

    -- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 8:05 AM
  • To the cty-govt-muck , I would say muck is not even near describing you. I think you should wait until all the facts come out on this issue before entering your smart mouth opinions. The paper or the prosecutor never tell both sides of the story. So why dont you wait and hear it all before judging anyone. You are apparently not a Christian or you would be on here judging people. Maybe you need to get a life.

    -- Posted by citizenpc on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 2:48 PM
  • What got up your goat? Whose judging who? You have a lot of anger! Read the article again, I'm saying if it's stealing, then prosecute. Can you guarantee me we'll hear both sides? Thanking you in advance for all your hard work.

    -- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 2:59 PM
  • Is this theft or mismanagement?

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 5:25 PM
  • Living in a small town does not dismiss one from prosecution for committing a crime. Theft is theft no matter where it occurs.

    The Clerk should have thought about her family and friends before she wrote herself a few extra paychecks and caused her embarrassment and shame. Shame on her for taking advantage of an office she was appointed to a few years ago. She grew up in this town and should have taken pride in her position.

    How did the Clerk write herself additional checks? Doesn't the Town Board have to sign off on all disbursements? Who signs the checks; the Clerk or are two signatures required. If two signatures are required, the Town Board dropped the ball and all three should resign.

    If the Clerk can't pay back the $49,000, where does the money come from? Was she bonded?

    Not only was theft involved, but also the audit revealed several major errors in keeping the books. Obviously she was in way over her head.

    Residents of Roachdale should wake up, attend the monthly Board meetings, and voice your opinion.


    Every One Dies Famous In A Small Town

    -- Posted by everyonediesfamousinasmalltown on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 7:47 PM
  • "Is this theft or mismanagement?"

    It's always theft. How could you even start to excuse away over paying ones self as a case of financial mismanagement? Everything we do in government is paid for after the product or service is delivered. The same thing goes for payroll. There are no advances made in government work. I would agree with mismanagement if this was only a matter of not paying bills properly or bouncing the checkbook.

    I have witnessed several clerks go walking out of their offices wearing pretty silver bracelets. Each one thought they had the scam worked out until they got caught. I'm sure we will see more of this in the near future.

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Sat, Dec 8, 2007, at 12:48 AM
  • George went to jail for stealing money.

    -- Posted by concerned3 on Thu, Dec 13, 2007, at 8:00 AM
  • Maybe George wasn't embarrassed enough!

    -- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 9:29 AM
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