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Embattled town clerk-treasurer steps down

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A former Edinburgh business bookkeeper who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the theft of $2.1 million has resigned from her elected position.

Gail Greathouse faces six counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false income tax report.

An investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the Indiana State Police found that she embezzled more than $2.1 million during six years from LB Mold, the Edinburgh industrial molding company where she worked as an office manager and bookkeeper.

Position available

What’s it take to be clerk, treasurer?

Residence rules: A clerk-treasurer has to live in the town he or she serves.

Duties for a town clerk-treasurer in Indiana include:

1. Oversee the town’s accounts, pay bills only on order of the town legislative body.

2. Handle payroll and account forms for all town offices.

3. Manage the finances of the town and make investments.

4. Issue all licenses and collect the appropriate fees.

5. Act as clerk for the town council, attend its meetings and record proceedings.

Source: Indiana Legislative Services

Greathouse, 57, has notified the U.S. District Court that she intends to plead guilty to all seven counts. Pre-sentencing reports and other paperwork typically are completed in about three months before the court will decide whether to accept a guilty plea. If a guilty plea is accepted, the person is typically sentenced at the same time, said Tim Horty, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Since the charges were announced, Greathouse resigned from her position as clerk-treasurer for Elizabethtown, a small town in Bartholomew County southeast of Columbus.

She was appointed as Elizabethtown’s clerk-treasurer Nov. 1, 1993, by the Bartholomew County Democratic Party chairman, according to voter registration records.

Town council member Fred Barnett said there’s no evidence that any Elizabethtown government funds are missing, but the town has decided to do a follow-up audit. The goal is to give the information to whoever becomes Elizabethtown’s new clerk-treasurer.

The town council has started searching for a new clerk-treasurer and plans to temporarily appoint someone to the position as soon as possible, Town Council President Eric Peery said. The job is part-time, but a salary has yet to be set.

“Right now, the position is officially empty and we are in the process of trying to find someone who can fill it temporarily, and then on a permanent basis,” Barnett said.

Finding a qualified, willing person to take the job might prove difficult, since the town is small and the person must live in Elizabethtown to serve as clerk-treasurer, Peery said.

The Bartholomew County Democratic Party will name a permanent replacement through a caucus.

The town of Elizabethtown will get help on financial matters from the Bartholomew County auditor’s office, Barnett said.

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