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AG files suit to recover taxpayer money

February 18, 2010

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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