Ex-Employees Accused Of Siphoning Town Funds

Audit: Nearly $260,000 In Funds Misused

Five former employees of the town of Chesterfield in Madison County are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds for personal use.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit Monday afternoon against former Clerk Treasurer Chris Parrish, former Town Marshal James Kimm, former part-time police officer Joseph Brown and former water department maintenance employees Chris Walters and James Walters, 6News' Rafael Sanchez reported.

A recent State Board of Accounts audit found the misuse of $259,626 from the town of Chesterfield during 2007 and 2008.

"We have this case, and a number of other cases, where it's not just a bookkeeping error, it's not something where people have made a mistake about accounting, but where people made personal benefit out of public funds they should know we're going to come after them," Attorney General Greg Zoeller told 6News.

Records showed that Kimm was reimbursed more than $52,000 for trips from 2007 to 2008 that can't be verified.

Meanwhile, Chris Walters and James Walters have provided a written statement to state regulators maintaining that they did not break any laws, and that they were following their bosses' orders.

Still, state officials said the former employee violated the public trust.

"You can't expect people to pay their taxes if officials can't hold responsible those handling their money in a legal and proper manner," said Andrew Swain, who oversees the tax section of the Attorney General's Office.

The state's lawsuit against the men seeks repayment of all the funds.