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Friday, October 21, 2016

Credit card fraud in the county Auditor's office

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Disgraced former Democratic county auditor Steve Saulter claims he "accidentally" used his official county government credit card to make several hundred dollars worth of purchases last year. Does he actually expect anyone to believe that this was not intentional? One or two transactions can be brushed off as a mistake. Fifteen transactions cannot be easily dismissed:

Former Monroe County Auditor Steve Saulter was charged Tuesday with felony fraud and official misconduct for using his county-issued credit card 15 times in the fall of 2015 to purchase food and medicine.

It is not all that unusual to pull out the wrong card - whether accidentally using a business card for personal use or using a personal card for business use. (The latter, obviously, is better.) But using a county government card fifteen times is an obvious pattern of misconduct.

If this scandal shows anything, it is that the two Democrats running to replace the incumbent Democrat cannot be trusted to serve as county Auditor. Current county auditor and "independent" candidate Therese Chambers (who was selected by the Democratic Party to fill the rest of Saulter's term) said she wanted to "restore trust, honesty and integrity" to the office. Chambers served as chief deputy under Saulter and Amy Gerstman, who also committed credit card fraud and (like Saulter) did not run for re-election. Why did Chambers not "restore trust, honesty and integrity" to the office when she was chief deputy?

Official Democratic Party candidate Cathy Smith cannot be trusted either. According to the Herald-Times, "there were four months where daily bank account updates were not kept. And according to an Indiana State Board of Accounts audit, more than $194,000 was needed to balance the accounts in December of that year." Do we really want someone who cannot balance the books as Treasurer to serve as county Auditor?

It is obvious that the only viable choice in the general election is Republican candidate Ann Boehm. Democrats have controlled the Auditor's office for twelve years through three separate one-term Auditors and have left a legacy of financial mismanagement, official misconduct and criminal behavior. Voting for Smith or Chambers will only be more of the same. We need a change. We need honesty, integrity, high ethical standards, and a commitment to serving the public. We need Ann Boehm as Auditor.

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