ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. — The Indiana State Board of Accounts confirms it has received a request from the Monroe County town of Ellettsville to investigate allegations of financial irregularities within the town marshals office.
That probe could take the form of a special investigations unit inquiry in alleged criminal wrongdoing.
Last Thursday night, the town council received the surprise news that a longtime marshals officer was taking a sudden retirement.
“It was abrupt,” said councilor William Ellis. “He decided this was the best course of action for him and the town.”
The State Board of Accounts (SBOA) typically audits the financial records of Indiana municipalities.
“All relative boards have been notified that need to be at this juncture,” said Ellis, a Republican. “In situations like this, I guess it would be standard procedure if there’s any policy discrepancies to refer it to the State Board of Accounts, especially if there is any possibility of criminal activity within a town or a municipality.”
Ellis said that he was assured that public safety was not compromised due to the activities that may be under investigation, but now his primary concern is making sure the town was getting the services it thought it was paying for.
“When we’re talking about the town to be made whole, we’re talking about financial improprieties, correct?” Ellis was asked.
“Yes,” he said. “That would be a fair conclusion, and it’s our intent with the council to be as fully transparent as we can.”
Ellettsville employs five officers in the marshals office.
“It was reported to the town marshal,” said Ellis of the tip that led to the sudden retirement of the officer and the referral to the SBOA. “We know who’s on duty, but we have coverage from other elements, so at no time was Ellettsville left uncovered.”
Danielle Taylor said from the front window of her shop on Main Street that she often sees Monroe County sheriff’s deputies driving through the town, and she feels confident with the officers who assist her teenage children at the local high school.
“They’re always so great with getting all the high schoolers out and stopping traffic for the kids, the school resource officers down there that I know, and they’ve been really great,” she said. “I wouldn’t lose faith. I think they do a great job.”
Ellis said the town council will hold another executive session next Monday night to determine if the information regarding the retired officer should be referred to the Monroe County prosecutor for potential criminal charges.