Court rules against Jennings Co. bookkeeper
Attorney General Curtis Hill won a legal victory on Friday that will help the state hold officials accountable for obeying laws and upholding the public trust. A former bookkeeper for the Jennings County Clerk’s Office, Cathy Jo Robertson, has sought to avoid paying back public funds demanded by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). In an audit report, the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) determined that Robertson diverted more than $61,000 in public funds for her own use. Robertson had claimed the OAG’s complaint to recover the funds was filed after the statute of limitations had expired. Robertson’s attorneys said the activity in question occurred from 2009 to 2011 and that the OAG became aware of it from SBOA officials in December of 2014. That being the case, her attorneys claimed, the statute of limitations would have had to begin to run no later than December of 2014. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, however, that the statute of limitations applicable to the OAG in such instances as this one does not begin to run until the OAG receives the final, verified report from the SBOA. In this case, the OAG received the SBOA’s report on Jan. 22, 2016, and filed its complaint against Robertson on May 5, 2017 – well within the two-year window. Because of this ruling, the OAG will be able to continue to hold public officials and employees responsible for their actions that result in misappropriation or diversion of public funds.
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