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AG files suit to recover taxpayer money

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The Indiana Attorney General has filed a complaint in St. Joseph Circuit Court to recover public money that the former Lakeville clerk-treasurer allegedly spent on personal items like movie rentals and satellite television.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed the suit Wednesday against Casey Grove, who's accused of spending nearly $30,000 of public funds on personal items such as car repairs, cell phone service, and furniture. He used town-government credit cards, withdrew money from the town's bank account, cashed petty-cash checks, and didn't deposit checks collected by the Lakeville's water utility.

Grove was the clerk-treasurer from Jan. 1, 2008 to Nov. 9, 2009, when he resigned after being charged with unrelated counts of battery and drug possession. A certified audit by the State Board of Accounts of the time Grove was in office discovered the misappropriated funds.

The attorney general's lawsuit seeks a judgment against Grove for the money he spent, treble damages, and court costs and fees. Zoeller wants to redeem a $15,000 surety bond on Grove that was issued like an insurance policy against public-employee theft. Zoeller also filed for a temporary restraining order against Grove to freeze any of his assets until the case is concluded.

Zoeller recently has filed several lawsuits against former and current government employees accused of stealing public funds.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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