According to the county prosecutor's office, police are conducting the investigation with assistance from the State Board of Accounts, which outlined the ATM transactions and other questionable expenses in a recent audit of the township’s finances.
Pursuant to Indiana code, if the investigation turns up evidence of a crime, that evidence will be presented to a grand jury for review, the prosecutor's office stated.
As first reported by The Tribune Aug. 3, an audit by the State Board of Accounts showed someone used Olive Township’s debit card to withdraw more than $1,600 from ATMs at Blue Chip and Horseshoe casinos in Indiana and Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minn., between December 2009 and November 2011.
Someone also altered the corresponding bank statements, the audit stated, in an apparent attempt to conceal the transactions.
The audit also documented unsubstantiated assistance payments totaling more than $3,700, as well as other questioned expenses and significant record and bookkeeping problems in the trustee's office.
At the request of the State Board of Accounts, Trustee John Michalski has since reimbursed the township more than $7,600, including $1,634.74 related to the casino transactions, according to the audit.
The Democrat also owes the state another $7,671.29 for additional costs accrued in conducting the audit because of "poor records, nonexistent records or other inadequate bookkeeping practices."
Reached at his home Thursday in New Carlisle, Michalski declined to comment on the matter.
According to the prosecutor's office, because grand juries are not regularly seated in the county, the decision to do so will be made upon completion of the investigation.
Staff writer Erin Blasko: