Joel Tatum

Classic Frankfort / www.flickr.com/photos/chaplin19/3956036420

A completed review of the monetary misdeeds of a former Frankfort Parks Department chief includes an allegation he sold animals from a city petting zoo without prior authorization.

Joel Tatum was fired from his job late last year after city officials found thousands of dollars strewn about, with much of it stuffed into coffee cans in Tatum’s office.

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.

Classic Frankfort / www.flickr.com/photos/chaplin19/3956036420

Frankfort’s new Director of Parks and Recreation starts Monday, just weeks after the previous holder of the job left under a cloud of suspicion.

Joel Tatum is accused of financial misdeeds, but city officials have been tight-lipped about what he allegedly did wrong. An investigation is ongoing by the county prosecutor’s office and the State Board of Accounts.

His replacement, Travis Sheets, returns to the position after several years away – some of which he spent in Africa.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/63300610@N07/32460304582

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.