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Fri, Oct 31, 2014 08:55 AM
Issue of October 22, 2014
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Former Elizabeth clerk-treasurer owes nearly $9K

October 16, 2013 | 09:14 AM

Former Elizabeth Clerk-Treasurer Adrian Hall owes the town nearly $9,000, according to a recently completed audit from the state board of accounts.

Hall was in the position from 2008 to 2011.

The audit states that Hall misappropriated funds and also used taxpayer money to pay for personal expenses, including his personal cell phone bill.

Hall also claimed mileage for three trips, two to Daleville, home of Keystone Software System, which the town uses, and one to Indianapolis.

"Information provided indicates that Mr. Hall did not actually travel to Daleville as he submitted on the reimbursement claims paid on Aug. 22, 2009, and Sept. 5, 2009, and therefore, was not entitled to be reimbursed for the mileage claimed," the audit states.

Two monthly personal cell phone bills were also wrongly charged to the town.

"Member of the town council stated they did not authorize these payments and that Mr. Hall never submitted any claims or claim dockets for approval that contained these payments," the audit said.

The largest chunk of money Hall owes to the town stems from payments made to Suzy Bass totaling $6,500, which were made without the board's approval, for financial work, and $1,140 to Aaron Calloway for accounting work.

Other failures include the annual report for 2010 not being filed until Dec. 28, 2011; town receipts in the amount of $46,428 were not reported; town disbursements in the amount of $28,787 were not reported; and receipts of the water utility operating fund were overstated by $2,278,400, among others.

The cash balance of the general fund was overdrawn by $17,945 and $13,837 at the end of 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Current clerk-treasurer and town manager Hugh Burns said the town had to file a civil suit against Hall in 2011 to force Hall to issue checks for taxes owed to the Indiana Dept. of Revenue, some $2,500-worth.

"After attempts to contact Adrian L. Hall ... by phone failed, a certified letter was sent to Mr. Hall on April 23, 2013, informing him that the examination had been completed and granting him the opportunity to attend an exit conference to discuss our findings," the audit concluded. "Mr. Hall signed for the certified letter on April 27, 2013, but never made any contact to indicate that he wished to attend an exit conference."

The town owes the water utility more than $65,000, Burns said, an amount which will take the town more than five years to pay back.

Burns said he has contacted state and county prosecuting officials regarding the matter but nothing has yet been done.

Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk said his office received the State Board of Accounts audit last week and is currently investigating the matter.

Twitter: @rossschulz

  1. print email
    October 17, 2013 | 09:28 PM

    Seems to me like the last treasurer had to repay thousands of dollars also. Poor little Elizabeth

  2. print email
    October 18, 2013 | 12:33 PM

    If all of the facts in the article are true, then there was a theft, and it should be prosecuted.

    Have any changes been made to prevent this from happening again, such as requiring two-signatures on checks issued to pay contractors/vendors? Lack of oversight gives some of the blame to council members...

    JW Laconia
  3. print email
    Prosecution? Yes. It is the only way it will stop
    October 19, 2013 | 01:16 PM

    I grew up in "Poor little Elizabeth." I must say I take offense to that terminology. It seems a bit smug to me. However, I could be mistaken. Perhaps the above anonymous poster meant that in a truly empathetic context?

    I have not lived in the area for many years but still take an interest in and have concern for Harrison County.

    If it is true the LAST Treasurer BEFORE Mr. Hall also had to "repay thousands" why wasn't this person also Prosecuted? Perhaps they were??

    Seriously, Harrison County... letting these folks get by with a tap on the wrist obviously is NOT working. It is not just Elizabeth with such issues.

    Palmyra is in the midst of an investigation very similar to this. Small towns. It happens. I agree with JW. More oversight is needed.

    Lastly, to Mr. Hall. I do not know you, nor how long you have lived in the area. If you are are not doing yourself any favors by not speaking up or ignoring attempts to give you're side of the story.

    Harrison County, although a large county is somewhat close knit & this County has the "memory of an Elephant!"

    Sandra Kelly
  4. print email
    Welcome to politics
    October 23, 2013 | 02:14 PM

    These posters seem shocked. Welcome to politics. Many politician's wages are their all they can steal. You must accept that fact, that's the way it has been and the way it will continue.
    It is reported that Mitch McConnell will spend $17 million next year to try to retain his $180,000 a year job, How does that work? It works only with theft, bribes, favors and other compensation.
    Have you ever seen a little league baseball player? He/she spits, scratches, chews, all that stuff like the "big boys" because he wants to be a big-leaguer someday. Many local politicians are little leaguers acting like the big boys. This is reality, we have the same stuff going on locally as we do in Washington. It's just on a smaller scale, they are still in training.

  5. print email
    How many times.....
    October 24, 2013 | 10:35 AM

    ... This seems like the 4th time Hugh has used the town's money to pay for an audit and lawyer. Not to mention nothing was found when investigated previous times and everything was thrown out of court. If I was Mr. Hall, I would keep my mouth shut and hire a lawyer to take care of this ... I'm sure Hugh has already spent more of the town's money in audits and court cost then what Mr. Hall was suppose to have paid two different accountants.
    If the town wants to throw money around they need to throw it in the direction of cleaning up the building. You can't even walk in without holding your breath because of the cigarette smell. I'm sure they are losing money on not being able to rent the building out because of it ...

Barbara Shaw
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