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Yorktown official faces complaint for removal from office

July 17, 2017

The state of Indiana is employing a statutory procedure to remove the Yorktown clerk-treasurer from office amid allegations that she has failed to fulfill her elected duties for the last two years, amounting to more than $100,000 in errors.

Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold filed a complaint against Clerk-Treasurer Beth Neff on July 12, seeking her removal from her elected position pursuant to Indiana Code section 5-8-1-35. The case  alleges Neff has refused or neglected to perform her duties on multiple occasions, leading to a “general and continuing series of misfeasance and nonfeasance and a disregard for statutory requirements that amount to negligent neglect.”

Specifically, the three-count complaint first alleges that for the last two years, Neff, who has been in office since 2007, has failed to reconcile the balance of public funds with balance statements from the respective depositories on at least a monthly basis.

Further, the second count against Neff alleges several violations over the same two-year period, including a failure to properly reflect the town’s financial transactions and balances in her records, continuously having overdrawn cash balances at the end of the year despite being cited in prior audits, and a failure to perform required monthly bank reconciliations. Additionally, Count 2 alleges the State Board of Accounts provided audit adjustments to Neff in 2012, but to date $16,190.55 of those errors have not been corrected in town records.

Finally, Count 3 presents five allegations against Neff, including a failure to post all checks that have cleared town bank accounts to town records, leading to discrepancies between checks voided in town records, but shown as paid on bank records. Further, Neff allegedly failed to record monthly water and sewer bond interest transfers, amounting to $127,472.35 in errors that have not yet been corrected.

Neff declined to comment on the allegations against her, which are classified as infractions.

Pursuant to I.C. 5-8-1-35, if the Delaware Circuit Court finds the alleged infractions can be sustained, the court must enter a decree removing her from office and enter judgment for $500 in favor of the prosecuting officer, for costs as allowed in civil cases, and for the amount that has been paid to Neff since July 12 to the day when the judgment is entered.

According to an earlier report from WRTV 6, I.C. 5-8-1-35 has only been successfully used once to remove a public official from office. That was in 2013, when Ashland Township Trustee Sandra Norman in Morgan County lost her post amid accusations that she failed to file required annual reports.

Online court records show an initial hearing in the case of State of Indiana v. Beth A. Neff, 18C01-1707-IF-15, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday before Judge Marianne L. Vorhees in Delaware Circuit Court 1.

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