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Last updated on Friday, March 28, 2014
(GARY) - Federal agents raided a northwestern Indiana township trustee’s office Thursday, although they stayed mum on the reasons for the raid.
FBI agents were joined with officers from the Indiana State Police and the IRS in a sweep of Calumet Township Trustee Mary Elgin's office in Gary on Thursday.
A 2011 audit of the trustee's office that raised concerns about the township's finances, including nine employees with take-home cars.
Among the issues raised, independent auditors said the trustee's office had not submitted financial forms to the state since 2006, when the township implemented a new accounting software system. Auditors also said the trustee's office "overstated significantly" annual receipts and disbursements.
Questions were also raised about the collection of ambulance service fees, which the audit stated were "collected without proper authorization." According to auditors, in January 2009 the township's base rate for ambulance services increased from $115 to $350, and the mileage rate increased from $3.50 to $12.00 per mile, without proper authorization from the Township Board.
The audit also concluded that employee service records were not being properly maintained. Some employees were granted advance pay and advance vacation in violation of township policy. Auditors also concluded that all salaried employees of the trustee's office received additional pay above the amount adopted by the Township Board.
Approximately 60 people work in the office and had the option of staying while the search warrant was executed or heading home. Police said no employees of the trustee's office were arrested in the raid.
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