(BARTHOLOMEW CO.) - A former Clay Township trustee and former Clay Township deputy trustee were arrested following a 22-month investigation.
According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Noel Houze, the investigation began in January, 2012 after the Indiana State Board of Accounts (ISBA) completed an audit of the Office of the Clay Township Trustee in Bartholomew County. The audit revealed some irregularities in the office which appeared to be criminal in nature. The ISBA alerted the Bartholomew County Prosecutor's Office who in turn requested a criminal investigation be initiated by the Indiana State Police.
The investigation culminated Friday, November 1 when warrants were issued for the arrest of the former Clay Township Trustee, 42 year old Christa Acton and the former deputy trustee, 45 year old Laurie Baker both of Columbus. Today both were arrested at the respective residences without incident by Trooper Bryce Harris with the assistance of the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department and transported to the Bartholomew County Jail.
Acton is facing 9 felony counts including multiple counts of welfare fraud, a Class C felony, theft, a Class D felony, conflict of interest, a Class D felony, and one count of official misconduct, a Class D felony.
Baker is facing 18 felony counts including multiple counts of welfare fraud, a Class C felony, theft, a Class C felony, forgery a Class C felony, perjury, a Class C felony, and conflict of interest, a Class D felony.
Senior Prosecutor Cynthia Crispin has been appointed to serve as special prosecutor in this case.
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