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15 government employees in Indiana face public corruption charges

Fifteen local government employees from around Indiana are facing public corruption charges for alleged government losses totaling more than $1 million.

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018 12:22 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Fifteen local government employees from around Indiana are facing public corruption charges for alleged government losses totaling more than $1 million.

Federal prosecutors announced charges Thursday against five people, including the treasurers of three fire departments, who allegedly bilked local governments out of more than $380,000.

State charges are pending against 10 others who work in public service or government positions, including two employees with the Indianapolis Local Public Bond Bank who allegedly stole about $400,000.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler says his office worked with the FBI, State Board of Accounts, State Police and local prosecutors in the investigations. He says in a statement that “all citizens deserve better from their public officials.”

The State Board of Accounts performed audits that provided prosecutors with evidence in the cases.

Federal cases include:

Kellie Cline, 35, Greenwood: Cline served as the Extra-Curricular Activity (ECA) Treasurer at Greenwood Middle School. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $50,000 from the school’s extra-curricular account.

Sami Dillon, 38, Crawfordsville: Dillon served as the Clerk-Treasurer of Cayuga, in Vermillion County and is alleged to have stolen approximately $44,000 by not depositing utility receipts.

Clint Madden, 51, Columbus: Madden served as the Wayne Township Trustee and the Jonesville Volunteer Rural Fire Department Treasurer, in Bartholomew County. He is alleged to have misappropriated over $100,000 from the township and the fire department.

Mathew Mathis, 47, Columbus: Mathis served as the Treasurer of the Hope Volunteer Fire Department in Bartholomew County and is alleged to have stolen over $48,000 from the fire department.

Norman Burgess, 44, Danville: Burgess served as the Treasurer of the Wayne Township Fire Department in Hamilton County and is alleged to have stolen approximately $140,000 from the fire department.

State cases include:

Angela White, 44, Indianapolis: White served as the ECA Treasurer for Robey Elementary School in Wayne Township, in Marion County. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $10,000 from the school. Charges are pending with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Rachel Bentz, 44, Portland: Bentz served as the Jay County Sheriff’s Department jail matron. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $9,000 by not depositing inmate trustee receipts. This case is pending with the Jay County Prosecutor’s Office.

Dallas Davis, 56, Russellville: Davis served as the Clerk-Treasurer for the Town of Russellville, and is alleged to have stolen approximately $7,600 by not properly depositing utility receipts. This case is pending with the Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office.

David Buzzard, 50, Columbus: Buzzard served as the trustee for the Rock Creek Township Trustee in Bartholomew County. He is alleged to have overpaid himself and his spouse approximately $27,000. This case is pending in Bartholomew County with a special prosecutor.

Jacqueline Fitzgerald, 54, and Monica Durrett, 56: They both worked at the Indianapolis Local Public Bond Bank and are alleged to have stolen approximately $400,000. This case is pending with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Nicole DeMunck, 35, Michigan City: DeMunck served as the AK Smith Center Treasurer in the Michigan City School System. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $13,000. This case is pending with the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office.

Nichole Lowry, 47, Kewanna: Lowry served as the Pulaski County EMS Director. She is alleged to have stolen over $12,000 in training funds. This case is pending with the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cheryl Pruitt, 50, Gary: Pruitt served as the former Gary Schools Superintendent, is alleged to have received a $1,256.75 “reimbursement” for funds that she never spent.

Donald G. Minnick, 64, Gosport: Minnick served as an Owen County Commissioner. He improperly sold a vehicle to the county with a loss of $7500. He was found guilty in Owen County.

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