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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - " Township Trustee Sandra Norman faces first-of-its-kind charges"

Kara Kenney of WRTV-6 reported Friday, with video:

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. - Ashland Township Trustee Sandra Norman appeared in Morgan County court Friday morning to face first-of-its-kind charges and possible removal from office.

Prosecutor Steve Sonnega charged Norman with two Infractions for failure to file reports, including the fiscal year 2012 annual report and 100-R report, which also includes compensation of officers and employees.

Norman pleaded not guilty. * * *

Norman's case is the first time in Indiana history that a county prosecutor has taken such action against a public official.

"It's very problematic when a trustee doesn't do the job the law requires," Sonnega said after Norman's hearing. "The filing of reports is pretty fundamental."

A judge would have to find Norman guilty and impose forfeiture of office as a penalty.

Norman isn't facing jail time because the infractions aren't criminal, similar to driving on a suspended license.

She also faces up to $1,500 in fines, Sonnega said.

"We came up with a course of action we thought would be in the taxpayers' best interest and the government's best interest," said Sonnega. "It is a new area."

The Attorney General’s Office sent demand letters to Norman, requesting she repay $7,860 after the State Board of Accounts found Norman made purchases without supporting documentation, including hotel stays, mileage, conferences, utilities, repair work and other expenses.

Morgan County Republican Chairman Daniel Elliott told Kenney that once the legal process is complete and there's a vacancy, the party will hold a caucus to select a new Ashland Township trustee.

Here is an earlier (undated?) WRTV-6 story about the State Board of Accounts audit.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 13, 2013 09:55 AM
Posted to Indiana Government