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Former Milltown clerk jailed for theft

Evanelle Goss, who served as Milltown clerk-treasurer from 2008 through 2011, was arrested Tuesday, July 24, on theft and official misconduct charges.
Goss, 56, of Milltown, became the subject of an investigation after a State Board of Accounts audit of the town’s finances for the two-year period between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, discovered some alleged irregularities.
Goss, who did not seek re-election last fall, is accused of having overpaid herself $8,895.38 between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, as well as having used $160.72 of town money to purchase a cell phone and service agreement plan. The audit also stated there is no record of proper deposit of collections in the amount of $818 and has ordered her to repay the town the $9,874.10 total.
In anticipation of filing the charges, the special prosecutor, Barry S. Brown of Monroe County, who was appointed by Crawford County Judge Lynn Lopp, earlier said they do not reflect the scope of Goss’ alleged criminal conduct but are representative and will hold her accountable for her misdeeds if the state is successful in getting a conviction.
The SBA’s previous town audit, which included Goss’ first year as clerk-treasurer, stated that she made advance payments to herself on 24 occasions in 2008. The report also said there were various problems with the town’s records, including that the 2008 annual report was not presented for audit within 60 days of the end of the calendar year.
Goss, who sat in on the exit conference with the auditor, in an April 2010 article about the audit, called the audit helpful.
‘I made mistakes. I admit it,’ she said, calling the audit process a ‘learning experience.’
‘Everything in the audit has been taken care of,’ Goss said.
Besides allegedly overpaying herself, the most recent audit alleges Goss made advance payments to herself on 84 occasions, ranging from one to 92 days early, from 2009 through 2011.
The report also found the 2010 annual financial report was not filed until Nov. 3, 2011, and that the reports for 2009 and 2010 were materially misstated.
Because the clerk-treasurer is an elected official, it is equal to the town council on the organization chart, meaning there was little, if anything, the council could do to rectify the past problems.
The SBA report is available online at www.in.gov/sboa.
Goss posted bond Saturday and was released. Her initial court hearing is set for Aug. 9 at 9 a.m. at the judicial complex.

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