NASHVILLE, Ind. -- A former Indiana township trustee was fined $2 and sentenced to 70 days of house arrest after admitting she used township money to pay for a vacation to the Smoky Mountains.The case reminded me of one I looked at from Clay County from the early 1990s. A deputy sheriff and candidate for sheriff was convicted of official misconduct for having sex with a jail inmate. His sentence was a $5 fine (much cheaper than a prostitute) and sentenced to home detention. He was allowed to keep his job...at the jail.
The Herald-Times of Bloomington reported that Nettie Walls, 66, has paid back the money she used from Van Buren Township's $10,000 line of credit.
Walls pleaded guilty this month to conversion and official misconduct, both misdemeanors. A felony theft charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement
Is it wonder we have so much misconduct by public officials when we don't take seriously the actions of those who get caught? What message is sent when people convicted of abusing their offices are fined $2 and $5?