Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trustee Receives $2 Fine and Home Detention for Stealing $10,000

WRTV reports:
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 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
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 the jail.

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?


Had Enough Indy? said...

There are minimum sentences for other offenses. The legislature should do the same for public corruption. In addition, there are many laws on the books that are supposedly there to protect the taxpayers, but for which there are no penalties whatsoever.

The public interest needs to be placed far above the interest of elected and appointed officials to feed at the public trough in ways that are contrary to our laws.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Lawrence Township Trustee Mike Hobbs wasn't as lucky. He had to plead guilty to a Class D felony for borrowing $500.00 from a charitable fund to pay his rent, which he later repaid, in addition to resigning his office.

Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul K. Ogden said...

I'd point out she will only serve 35 days on home detention. You get 2 for 1 credit for post-conviction home detention.

Nicolas Martin said...

When has it been different? The ancient Latin phrase is Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. What is permitted to to Jove is not permitted to the cow.