Indiana State Board of Accounts

City of Frankfort

It’s been a year of turmoil for Frankfort city government.

The State Board of Accounts is investigating possible embezzlement by a former parks director.

The city has had to raise rates for both its electric service and water utility. And now a water filtration plant either needs a costly retrofit or a funeral.

And the city continues to struggle with the same sorts of drug problems many Indiana towns have – to the point where the local high school is planning random drug testing.

City of Frankfort

It turns out it might cost more than originally planned to retrofit what Frankfort’s police chief calls the city’s “1970s” police department. The city has already raised utility rates and at least one tax, so how much further is Mayor Chris McBarnes willing to go before he thinks he’ll encroach on his fiscal conservative bona fides?

We put that question to Mayor McBarnes on this edition of WBAA’s Ask The Mayor.

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Though he stopped short of calling it possible embezzlement, Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says he’s handed over information relating to the dismissal of his former parks superintendent.

“We placed this individual on paid administrative leave, we secured the entire office, we conducted an investigation and the evidence that we found that our internal control standards and materiality threshold standards have been broken.”

The discoveries made in that investigation are now in the hands of the Clinton County Prosecutor’s office and the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

State of Indiana

The state agency charged with investigating allegations of financial fraud in the government has created a new position to help its efforts.

The State Board of Accounts recently hired Andy Shank as Director of Special Investigations.

He says the goal is to prosecute public officials if the Board of Accounts uncovers criminal activity.

"Because we know that if you don't hold these people accountable for their thefts, they're just going to go somewhere else and do the same thing again."