Thursday, November 07, 2013

Town Clerk-Treasuer Gets Slap On The Wrist For Using Town's Credit Card For Personal Purchases

Sunman Town Clerk-Treasurer Kris Schneider used the town's credit card to make $3,600 in personal purchases at the local Walmart store over a 2-year period. Judge Jon Webster dropped a felony official misconduct charge filed against Schneider to a Class A misdemeanor because she made full restitution and the town's leaders praised her years of service to the town. It's not even clear that Schneider will be forced to give up the office that she has held for 23 years despite getting caught red handed stealing taxpayer dollars, which was uncovered during a state board audit. The Class A misdemeanor the judge entered against her carries a sentence of only one year of probation. Poor Charlie White got charged and convicted of a felony theft charge for drawing a paycheck as a Fishers Town Council member that he was entitled by law to receive as long as he served in office, even after he repaid the salary he earned for a several month period after he moved out of his district. As Charlie says, he was prosecuted as a class of one.


Anonymous said...

different probation officer writing pre-sentence recommendation.

different prosecutor

different judge

Anonymous said...

Didn't Carl Brizzi get sued because misdemeanor sentencing is not permitting under Indiana Law for the crime of Official Misconduct?

I didn't think a judge was legally allowed to reduce that to a misdemeanor.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think the judge was sitting as the jury in this case and found her guilty of committing a misdemeanor, not the felony official misconduct. In the case of Tamara Vangundy, the former Hancock Co. Coroner that Brizzi represented, Brizzi had her sign a plea agreement where she pleaded guilty to the felony official misconduct charge with the understanding it would be reduced to a misdemeanor for purposes of sentencing. That's why I pointed out that it's not clear that this official will have to step down from her office because there is no felony conviction being entering against her initially. In the case of former Lawrence Township Trustee, Brizzi's office had him agree to a similar plea agreement when he was accused of using $500 from a township charitable fund to pay his rent, which forced him to give up his office even though he had repaid the $500.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I should add that the judge in White's case should have granted Brizzi's pr-trial motion to dismiss the theft charge against White. Indiana law is very clear that a de facto elected official is entitled to hold that office and draw his or her salary until he either resigned from office, or a quo warranto action had been adjudicated against him successfully declaring him ineligible to hold office. He was duly elected and sworn into office; therefore, he was entitled to draw his salary and serve as a Fisher's Town Council member, even if he technically no longer lived in the district from which he was elected. We had a city-county council member who served for nearly four years as a council member for a district he never represented. When I brought it to light, he resigned. He was not charged with theft for drawing a salary for nearly four years nor could he have been charged with theft under Indiana law. Because the media hates Charlie White, it will never accurately report on the law to the public to demonstrate what a miscarriage of justice occurred in his case. That's not even getting into the class of one he was charged and convicted on multiple vote fraud charges for doing nothing close to what Evan Bayh, Richard Lugar, et al. did for many years without legal consequences.