Audit Finds Township Trustee Was Paid Extra, Misused Funds
By Mike Perleberg
(Franklin County, Ind.) – A former Franklin County township trustee is accused of mishandling taxpayer funds.
The Indiana State Board of Accounts has released results of an audit done in December for Brookville Township during Britney Ison’s term as township trustee. While Ison is not currently facing criminal charges, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the case.
According to the report filed December 22, Ison received salary and office rent of $22,820 in 2013 and $21,800 in 2014, however, the township budget approved was for only $15,800 each year.
The state investigation found Ison used other overpaid funds to make personal purchases for telephone, television, and internet service as well as printer ink. Ison was also reimbursed for $707 in travel expenses over the two years. Yet, she was unable to provide the auditor with documentation supporting the expenses.
The audit also discovered that the Brookville Township bank account had been overdrawn in May 2014.
In all, the SBOA is demanding that Ison repay $16,918.26 to the township taxpayers.
The SBOA investigator, Kimberly Wesley, attributed the abuse of funds to “a lack of segregation of duties” that allowed Ison’s salary and spending to go unchecks by other township officials.
“The trustee serves as the township executive and the township fiscal officer. As a result, there is no oversight of township financial activity on an ongoing basis by another official,” Wesley wrote in stating that the Brookville Township advisory board should meet more often than the one time per year required by state law.
Ison was asked to participate in an exit meeting with the SBOA last April. The audit report states that Ison has not responded to the contents of the report.