Theft charge for former Cloverdale utility clerk

Friday, March 11, 2016

CLOVERDALE -- A former utility clerk for the Town of Cloverdale is accused of overcharging customers for personal gain.

The Putnam County Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday officially filed two felony charges in Putnam Circuit Court against Brittney N. Duncan, 29, Greencastle. Duncan is charged with Level 6 felony theft and Level 6 felony official misconduct.

Court documents allege that Duncan stole $1,305.25 between September 2014 and January 2015.

Det. Jan Kruse conducted the investigation for the Indiana State Police.

The inquiry began when Town Clerk Cheryl Galloway contacted Indiana State Board of Accounts Examiner Gina Gambaiani about accounting discrepancies involving utility accounts.

Gambaiani's examination reportedly found several customer accounts with adjustments made to their bills without explanation.

"It also appeared that the unsupported adjustments were made on customer accounts when the normal method of payment was cash," Kruse wrote of Gambaiani's findings.

Gambaiani futher noted that Duncan made all of the adjustments and that the additional payments were never deposited into the town's bank account.

The state examiner met with Duncan to question her about the matter and inform her there should be explanations for such adjustments.

Following the meeting with Gambaiani, Duncan resigned on March 30, 2015.

Investigators say they found 54 cases of unsupported adjustments to customer accounts. Letters were sent out to all of the customers asking them to meet with investigators and provide any documentation they had to the specific adjustments.

In August, Kruse, Gambaiani and Det. Juli Schnell met customers, six of whom provided nine receipts totaling $1,305.25.

Kruse noted that in all nine cases, the payment was never reflected on the account or the cash deposited into the town's account.

During an October interview with Kruse and Gambaiani, Duncan admitted her initials were on the paid cash receipts, but denied ever taking money or making unsupported adjustments.

She also told investigators that everyone working in the office had her username and password login information.

Kruse wrote that when asked who could have taken the missing cash and made the adjustments, Duncan "indicated that Cheryl Galloway had the best opportunity to do that."

Kruse went out of his way to express his contrasting view based on the investigation.

"Cloverdale Town Clerk Cheryl Galloway was the first person to notify the Indiana State Board of Accounts about the accounting discrepancies in the utilities office," Kruse wrote. "She has cooperated fully and provided any records or information requested during the investigation.

"During the investigation nothing has been discovered that would support Cheryl Galloway's involvement in the matter."

On the other hand, Kruse noted that bank records indicate that between September 2014 and January 2015, Duncan made $2,010 in cash deposits to her personal account.

No warrant or summons has yet been issued in the case.

Level 6 felonies are punishable by a sentence of six months to 2-1/2 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

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  • Wow little miss perfect huh? Too funny

    -- Posted by bj9876 on Mon, Mar 14, 2016, at 3:02 PM
  • Amazing how this came out after the election...

    If I only had a big screen TV to watch this all unfold on...

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Wed, Mar 16, 2016, at 6:29 PM
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