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Yorktown official faces complaint for removal from office

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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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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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