Clay official arrested on charges involving theft of $71,000 in township funds

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BRAZIL -- A former Clay County township trustee was arrested Friday afternoon in connection with a theft and forgery case involving more than $71,000.

Paul H. Hackett, 62, Brazil, was arrested at his home and lodged in the Clay County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Hackett was charged with nine felony counts, including one count of forgery, a Class C felony, and eight counts of theft, a Class D felony.

The theft and forgery acts allegedly occurred from June of 2007 through the year 2010. Hackett had served a four-year term as Van Buren Township trustee covering 2007-10.

Around 5 p.m. Friday, Indiana State Police detectives and troopers from the Putnamville Post served a Clay County arrest warrant on the former township trustee for allegations of theft and forgery totaling $71,023.21.

Putnamville detectives said the investigation originated in May 2010 when the Indiana State Board of Accounts contacted State Police alleging numerous township checks had been issued and signed by Hackett for personal gain, all during his time as the elected Van Buren Township trustee.

Some of the personal gain items identified in the investigation were payments of home utility bills, vehicle repair bills, automobile loans, personal credit card bills, and other miscellaneous personal items.

The State Board of Accounts agency initiated the audit after receiving an inquiry from a utility company about a township check they had allegedly received from Hackett to pay on his personal account.

The case was investigated by ISP Det. Sam Stearley.

Assisting were ISP Sgt. Troy Stanton, Trooper Jim Cruse, Indiana State Board of Accounts and the Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger.

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  • ,,,(sigh),,,

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 6:26 AM
  • Makes me wonder if the utility company had not questioned the payment, Hackett may have got away with it.

    -- Posted by DefiantToo on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 6:53 AM
  • Too bad for the family. But a crook he is!

    -- Posted by NeverChanges on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 8:43 AM
  • Who reconciles these bank statements? Who keeps the books? It seems if the companies that are getting embezzled these days were taking proper care of their books, they would discover these errors much quicker. I'm not blaming them, but you're asking for trouble if you fully turn over such responsibility to single individuals and don't stay involved in the finances.

    -- Posted by just a local on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 1:37 PM
  • What the heck, it's only taxpayers money. Nobody really got hurt. Heck that company in California scammed half a billion dollars of the peoples money and the media won't even cover it.

    -- Posted by exhoosier2 on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 2:58 PM
  • i wonder if he could give me a loan.

    -- Posted by etphonehome on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 12:38 PM
  • I agree with "just a local" where's the reconciling of the bank accounts by an outside party, there should be 2 signatures required on all checks, maybe that would have stopped him.

    -- Posted by love my pets on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 4:46 PM
  • What's really telling about this article is that this amount of money could be spent for something other than official township governance and no one in an official capacity in the County Auditor's or Treasurer's office noticed. Worse, the money obviously wasn't missed by those agencies it was intended to benefit.

    One more indicator that it's time to do away with so many inefficient and expensive levels of government in Indiana!

    -- Posted by USAirman on Thu, Sep 29, 2011, at 9:36 AM
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