By ERIN BLASKO - Follow me @ErinBlasko
South Bend Tribune
5:09 PM EDT, March 22, 2012
Indicted Penn Township Trustee Jeff Dean kept township property, including a personal computer and lawnmower, at his personal residence and overpaid his former administrative assistant by more than $3,200, according to a report issued Wednesday by the State Board of Accounts.
The report, which documents the period beginning Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31, 2010, includes more than $17,000 in "questioned" and prohibited costs related to a cleaning contract, per diems, the township credit card, missing financial documentation, and personal property use.
The SBOA requests in the report that Dean return a total of $700 to the township, and that he and/or Sarah Sharp, the administrative assistant, return a total of $3,228.06.
It also requests that Dean reimburse the state $3,042.19 for additional "examination costs" incurred because of "poor records, nonexistent records or other inadequate bookkeeping practices" within the trustee's office.
Responding to the report Thursday, Dean, a Democrat, basically called it old news.
"Let me make this very clear." he said. "Every issue that has come up -- and again, this was two years ago -- but every issue that has come up has been corrected before the audit even occurred, so all the issues have been addressed and taken care of."
"These are two-year-old issues," he repeated, "and it has been corrected."
Dean said he plans to reimburse the township, as requested in the report, but that he does not think that he should have to reimburse the state.
"The charge to me, $3,000 for excess time, I don't agree with that," he said, "because they (the SBOA) asked that those records be at their disposal in a minute. So I don't agree with that."
A grand jury indicted Dean and Sharp, who no longer works in the trustee's office, on one count each of theft, official misconduct, and conflict of interest, all Class D felonies, in May of last year based on information contained in two previous SBOA reports.
It indicted Sharp on one additional count of ghost employment, also a Class D felony.
According to those reports, Dean, who won re-election to a second, four-year term as Penn Township trustee in November 2010, failed to keep work records related to a contract that paid Sharp $15 an hour to clean the trustee's office.
Sharp earned an additional $37,000 combined in 2008 and 2009 on top of her normal salary, which increased from $36,000 to $39,000 during that time, because of that contract, the reports stated.
CALL TO RESIGN
According to the report issued Wednesday, Dean:
Failed, again, to keep work records related to the cleaning contract, which paid Sharp a total of $12,322.50 in 2010. Sharp stopped cleaning the office that June.
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