The Indiana Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit Friday against a former township trustee the Call 6 Investigators first reported on earlier this month.
Heather Cohee, who was trustee in Benton Township in Monroe County, stepped down a few weeks ago amid criticism that she hired her husband and daughter to perform tens of thousands of dollars of work for the township without proper documentation.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller's lawsuit against Cohee demands that she repay $97,000. Officials said relatives were paid for mowing and cleaning, but there was little documentation
to show where the money went.
"No one in the public is going to believe that's appropriate," Zoeller said. "It undermines public confidence in public officials if they don't see us actively pursuing those who take advantage of their situation."
The AG also filed a motion to freeze Cohee's assets, RTV6's Kara Kenney
Indiana lawmakers recently passed legislation aimed at curbing nepotism and conflicts of interest, but the law didn't specifically address government officials who hire their relatives.
"The legislators are going to need to address this just to maintain the public trust," Zoeller said.
The AG contends that public officials should be required to get an additional signature when handling large checks, creating more oversight.
Copyright Copyright 2012 by
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.