News and Tribune

May 3, 2013

County attorney: Auditor hasn’t been denied bond coverage

Fox claims political motivations could be behind allegation

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY —

Floyd County Attorney Rick Fox denied allegations Thursday that soon-to-be Floyd County Auditor Scott Clark has been rejected for bond coverage. 

The Courier-Journal reported this week that former Floyd County Auditor Teresa Plaiss said the county’s insurance agent had informed officials that an insurance carrier used for surety bonds indicated it would not issue a bond for Clark.

Clark was chosen during a Floyd County Republican Party caucus last month to take the place of Darin Coddington, who chose to resign from the auditor’s post amid budgetary issues and claims his department failed to accurately report cash balances to the Floyd County Council. 

However Fox — who said at his advice is speaking on behalf of Clark — alleged the bond coverage allegation is politically motivated. Fox said Clark — who reportedly will begin work Monday — hasn’t submitted an application for bond coverage, and therefore he couldn’t have been turned down. 

Many public officials, such as auditors, are required to be covered with a bond, and Fox said Clark’s would insure up to $300,000.  Fox said Thursday he was confident that Clark would be approved when his application is submitted. 

“I’ve never seen anybody get turned down for a bond,” Fox said. “I can’t imagine what else could be driving it other than politics or individuals that have an agenda.” 

Plaiss — who now serves as an administrative assistant under Floyd County Operations Director Don Lopp — is declining subsequent media interviews since the news was reported, Fox said, who added that he’s spoken with Plaiss since  the C-J article.

An attempt to reach Plaiss for comment at her office was unsuccessful Thursday, as Lopp said she is slated to be off from work until Tuesday, May 7.

The county’s insurance agent who allegedly made the statement that Clark’s bond coverage was in doubt, Kevin Paul, was unable to be reached for comment Thursday after multiple calls by the News and Tribune. 

Fox said Paul — with whom he has spoken — is also declining to speak with the media about the situation. 

“The insurance agent has not represented anything regarding [Clark], and his application for a bond,” Fox said. “It’s a non-event, because no application has been made and I don’t expect anything to stand in the way of Scott Clark’s approval of the transfer of the bond.” 

Floyd County Commissioner Steve Bush said Thursday he’s still collecting more information about the issue. 

“We’re looking into it and seeing what’s going on,” Bush said, as he added he wouldn’t comment further until more facts are known.