Someone with access to Olive Township's debit card made more than $1,600 in unauthorized ATM withdrawals at three casinos in Indiana and Minnesota between 2009 and 2011, according to an audit of the township's finances by the State Board of Accounts.
Not only that, but someone altered the corresponding bank statements in an attempt to conceal the transactions, made at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, and Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minn., the report states.
Also according to the report, Olive Township trustee John Michalski:
-- Failed to report or pay taxes on more than $600 in additional income he received from the township for maintaining a township-owned lot;
-- Failed to provide sufficient documentation to support various township expenses, including assistance payments, totaling more than $3,700;
-- Failed to reimburse the township the cost of a prescription medication in his name paid for with the township debit card; and
-- Failed to properly reconcile the township's bank balance, resulting in a negative balance of more than $1,500.
The State Board of Accounts has requested that Michalski also reimburse the agency for the costs of conducting an audit of the township's records because his record-keeping was so bad, a request with which he has so far declined to comply. The State Board of Accounts has referred the matter to the St. Joseph Co. Prosecutor's Office to consider whether criminal charges should be filed in the case. Another township trustee in St. Joseph Co., Penn Township Trustee Jeff Dean (D), recently pleaded guilty to ghost employment charges after it was discovered that he had been paying his live-in girlfriend and former secretary for work that she was not performing. Olive Township Board President Clark Hensell told the Tribune that he was "totally" confident in Michalski's ability to perform his job. Wow!