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July 23, 2013

Clark County employee’s salary subsidized by diverted funds

Then-commissioners instructed Clark-Floyd Landfill to pay highway superintendent $14,000 per year



Lee did not respond to a message left at his office requesting comment. Harris declined to comment.

IRS Tax Form 1099s obtained by the News and Tribune through an open-records request show that Ross was paid $3,500 by the Clark-Floyd Landfill for the fourth quarter of 2009, and $14,000 per year in 2010, 2011 and 2012. When contacted for comment, Ross, who is still employed by the county as its operations manager, deferred all questions to the county commissioners. 

Meyer did not respond to a message left on his cell phone requesting comment, nor did Fifer. Moore said he had no recollection of discussing the arrangement. 

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” Moore said. “Now, I’m not going to sit here and say I haven’t been burned before. I’ve signed things before that I wasn’t aware of, but I’d like to think my attorney would have prepped me on that, and I know that conversation never took place.” 

Young said that all three commissioners were aware of and agreed to the arrangement.

The legality of the payments to Ross remains to be seen. 

The commissioners announced at a meeting July 18 that the Indiana State Police, the Indiana State Board of Accounts and the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office had been forwarded the documents showing the correspondence from Fifer and documentation of the payments. 

“A portion of the quarterly revenues that are reinbursed to the county were deducted, and the full amount was not distributed to the county to be applied to the proper funds,” Commissioner Rick Stephenson said July 18, reading from a prepared statement. “This action has been halted immediately and the proper authorites have been notified. Those authorities will decide on any further action to be taken.” 

Coffman and Stephenson both said that they will reserve judgment until independent investigations by the State Board of Accounts and the Indiana State Police conclude.

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