Former Russellville clerk charged with theft of town funds

Thursday, October 4, 2018

RUSSELLVILLE — The former Russellville clerk-treasurer and wife of current town councilman now finds herself in legal hot water.

On Thursday, the Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office filed two felony charges against 56-year-old Dallas Devon Davis — Class D felony theft and Class D felony official misconduct.

The charges spring from an Indiana State Board of Accounts and Indiana State Police Investigation that indicate that during her time as clerk, Devon Davis “made personal credits to her water utility account with monies from other paying customers and also failed to deposit various checks within the statutory requirements for the deposit of public funds.”

Davis served one term as clerk-treasurer in Russellville, from January 2012 through December 2015.

The initial SBOA found that between Nov. 1, 2012 and Dec. 29, 2015, there were $7,711.41 worth of receipts paid to the town that were not deposited into the town bank account.

Denying any wrongdoing, Davis did allow that she would take cash payments and place them in the money box “and forget about them until the end of the month, when she would make the deposit.”

However, SBOA representatives told ISP Det. Sgt. J. Troy Stanton that they were unable to locate these deposits at any time.

Specifically, the SBOA investigation highlighted two payments made by other customers in the total amount of $518.94, the exact amount deposited and credited to Davis’s personal utility account a few weeks later.

Upon questioning by investigators, Davis confessed that she had credited her personal water bill with the funds, court records indicate.

A much bigger question for investigators remains, though: What is the source of $15,345.09 in unauthorized adjustments to town water bills that lack supporting documents to justify the adjustments?

Russellville Town Board minutes document six water adjustments coming before the board in February 2012, but then no more for the remainder of her tenure in office.

Water adjustments must be approved by a town board or utility board.

Two town board members during Davis’s time as clerk-treasurer, Norma Gross and Don Reddish, were questioned about adjustments during Davis’s tenure. Neither had any recollection authorizing excessive adjustments.

Two owners of rental properties in Russellville were also questioned. They also said they did not recall a large number of utility complaints. The men also indicated that it sometimes took Davis a significant amount of time to post credits to their accounts.

Due to the time period of the alleged crimes, they were charged as Class D felonies, which fall under the State of Indiana’s old sentencing structure. Class D felonies are punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine of up toe $10,000 each.

Davis is the wife of Jim Davis, who remains a member of the Russellville Town Council.

In July, Jim Davis was charged with felony strangulation and misdemeanor battery for allegedly attacking another man.

Court documents indicated that Devon Davis played a key role in that incident, though she was not charged with a crime.

The Jim Davis case is awaiting a pre-trial conference set for Nov. 1.

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