Muncie hoping to move Sanitary District forward with new administrator, after former employees face federal charges


MUNCIE, Ind. — The Muncie Sanitary District is hoping to find a new district administrator.

This comes after the former district administrator and superintendent were indicted on federal corruption charges and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

“We’re working with the sanitary district to find the person to best serve the needs of the citizens of Muncie,” said Mayor Dan Ridenour.

Turning over a new leaf in the city of Muncie and the sanitary district.

In the last two years, two sanitary district employees were indicted and are still awaiting trial. Former superintendent Tracy Barton and former district administrator Debra ‘Nicole’ Grigsby stand accused of corruption and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

“The FBI has done an excellent job we’ve all been vetted. And we’re all still here,” said Muncie Sanitary District, Interim District Administrator, Bill Smith.

In February, Grigsby accepted a deal to plead guilty on charges of conspiracy. Since her arrest last summer, Bill Smith has been serving as the interim district administrator while also serving as the board president.

“Very honestly the disruption has not been affected at all. It’s just the normal operations that need to be done. That what I had to make sure. Make those decisions that who’s going to go out, who’s going to do this, who’s going to do that how are we going to do it,” said Smith.

He says the more than 100 employees are keeping Muncie going. The projects like the separation of the water and sewer system did not stop. Nor did the trash and recycling pick-up. But at the end of August, Smith will leave the interim role.

“I feel good at this point in time turning the reigns over,” said Smith.

It’s no secret the new district administrator will have a challenging role.

“There’s important work to do at the sanitary district that’s important for the city. And we have to have an operation that is trusted by the city residents. So, the biggest challenge I think that the administrator is going to have is figuring out how to build that trust,” said Ridenour.

The mayor says building trust starts with transparency. He adds that they are hoping to fill that role from within the district. If they can’t, they will look for external candidates.

Barton is expected to appear in court on January 4th. A date for Grigsby has not been set but they were granted an extension to file to presentencing report.

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