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Monday, May 2, 2016

Former trustee arrested for theft

Friday, September 23, 2011

A former county township trustee was arrested Friday afternoon on allegations of theft and forgery in the amount of $71,023.21.

According to Indiana State Police Putnamville Post officials, at approximately 5 p.m., Friday, detectives served a Clay County arrest warrant to Paul H. Hackett, 62, Brazil, former Van Buren Township Trustee.

Hackett was transferred to the Clay County Justice Center. Bond was set at $10,000, with no 10 percent allowed.

Hackett was preliminarily charged with nine felony counts, including one count of Forgery (a Class C felony) and eight counts of Theft (all Class D felonies).

Hackett served as the Van Buren Township Trustee from 2007-10.

The investigation was initiated by the Indiana State Board of Accounts (SBA). According to information provided by state police officials, in May 2010, SBA contacted state police "alleging numerous township checks had been issued and signed by Paul H.Hackett for personal gain, all during his time as the elected Van Buren Township Trustee."

According to state police officials, some of the "personal gain" items included home utility bills, vehicle repair bills, automobile payments, personal credit card bills and other personal items.

An audit ensued after SBA received an inquiry from a utility company about a township check allegedly received from Hackett to pay on a personal account.

The SBA report states that through township assistance checks, Hackett allegedly funneled the money for personal gain. Additional audit costs of $22,721.88 runs the total to $93,745.09.

Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger told The Brazil Times Clay County Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers approved a probable cause affidavit via telephone.

"Through the state police investigation, the allegations are the result of the determination of SBA that funds may have been used by Mr. Hackett for his own personal gain," Reberger said.

The case was investigated by ISP Det. Sam Stearley with assistance from ISP Sgt. Troy Stanton, Trooper Jim Cruse, SBA and Reberger.

According to state police officials, more charges could be added at a later date.

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Kind of takes the "trust" out of trustee, doesn't it?

-- Posted by willylee1961 on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 11:23 PM

Another clay co. politition caught for stealing!What is it with these people that think they can just take what they want and think its ok? I guess he just gets in line behind the rest of them to be sentenced,we know it'll take for ever.

Good job to our officials for finding this,as far as I'm concerned this is as bad as these drug dealers.He needs the max!

-- Posted by clycogrl on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 11:26 PM

According to the Tribune Star, it was a utility company that caught him. The guy was dumb enough to use a township check to pay his utilities!

My question is; how does a township not miss over 70k in funds?

-- Posted by olmedic on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 12:08 AM

Ok, time for the he's a great guy who just made a little mistake. Come on, we're waiting.

-- Posted by Matt Dillion on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 2:45 PM

Trustees have advisory boards who are supposed to review the their budgets and expenditures on a yearly basis. Where were these people? This is a perfect example of why Gov. Daniels wants to do away with Township Trustees. I believe the vast majority of the Trustees do a fine job in helping their constituents, however, one bad apple makes the whole basket seem rotten.

-- Posted by open minded on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 4:55 PM

i know times are hard but to steal money that was to help the poor. where were the people who were suppose to check him to make sure he stayed honest. you see this more and more.my daughter and her husband work 2 jobs apiece to keep a roof over their head and food in the house. i know jobs are scarce but if you need to eat and stay in a home you will find something. honest work is honest work no matter what it is.

-- Posted by pukee on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 11:08 PM

I'll start, MATT.

Poor guy wasn't paid diddly on a Trustee salary, so what's he supposed to do?? He's a good man who will do what needs to be done to support his family! Are you all so perfect that you've never made a mistake??!!! Get a life!

How'd I do?

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 11:52 AM

Hahahahaaa.......Emmes, your grammer is way too good and you actually sound intelligent!

It's a shame that he had to resort to that. There are ways and means to get help, all you have to do is ask.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 12:00 PM

So, had he not used a twnsp check to the utility co. the whistle might not have been blown, and no one would be the wiser? Just how much money are these twnsps siphoning off my paycheck? Are any other trustees being audited? Gov. Daniels was right, gut'em!

-- Posted by reddevil on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 4:42 PM

Are you kidding me Emmes? $71,000 is way too much to "get by on". If he didn't make enough money to live on the he could get another job that paid more, or settle for two jobs. I don't care HOW hard it is to get by, you DO NOT steal from anyone!! I suggest the books be balanced weekly, monthly, 3 months and yearly. There is no excuse for this poor bookkeeping!!

-- Posted by willylee1961 on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 9:33 PM


when I was small, if everyone had our hands in the cookie jar, it was hard to tell our mom who took the most cookies. I am talking about cookies........

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 12:11 PM

Yes, WILLYLEE1961, I was. ; )

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 7:17 PM

So many of our "trust"ed officials stealing from us. It just makes me ill thinking about it. Something else that has been on the news that I've been paying attention to is the use of the words "new economy"... "in this new economy" .... it's like a brainwashing effect to get us used to things the way they are and to expect them to get worse rather than better, which I think is a very dangerous idea.

-- Posted by Ninesy on Wed, Sep 28, 2011, at 8:26 PM

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