Sandra Norman, trustee in Ashland Township in Morgan County, owes $7,800 to taxpayers, state says

Norman took over for mother

MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. - The Call 6 Investigators have uncovered more financial problems and questionable costs in Ashland Township, a community in Morgan County.

The State Board of Accounts audit requests Trustee Sandra Norman repay $7,860.23 to the taxpayers for purchases made without supporting documentation, including hotel stays, mileage, conferences, utilities, repair work and other expenses.

Norman replaced her mother, Dorothy Brummett, who submitted her resignation in 2010 saying the township was out of money for poor relief .

The audit just released also criticized Ashland Township for not complying with Internal Revenue Service directives to remit income tax and Social Security withholdings.

Auditors questioned why board minutes were missing for most meetings and no budget has been approved since the year 2008.

The audit report was forwarded to the local prosecuting attorney, who could pursue criminal charges against Norman.

In a letter issued today to Prosecutor Steve Sonnega from Deputy State Examiner Paul Joyce, Joyce requested Norman be removed from office in order to protect the integrity of the office and remaining assets of the taxpayers in Ashland Township.

"It is my opinion that the Ashland Township trustee, Sandra Norman, has failed to perform a duty which she is legally obligated to perform," the letter from Joyce read. "Norman has committed malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance as the elected Trustee for Ashland Township, Morgan County; and that as a result (Norman) has forfeited her office pursuant to IC 5-11-1-10 and IC 5-11-1-21."

Indiana law says a public official who fails to keep financial books forfeits his or her office.

In 2010, then-Trustee Dorothy Brummett admitted to Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney that because of personal issues, she didn't do the best job as trustee.

"I'm not dealing with all the things that have happened in my life," she said in 2010. "I just basically shut down."
Nearly three years ago, Norman told Kenney she would do her best to clear up the problems in the township office.

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