MADISON COUNTY, Ind. - The mayor of Elwood has come under fire for his alleged misuse of campaign funds to pay for his personal expenses, according to an investigation by Indiana State Police.
No stranger to controversy, Republican Mayor Ron Arnold most recently raised eyebrows by casting a democrat vote by absentee ballot in the upcoming Madison County primary election.
When Arnold recently took an overseas economic development trip, he went so far as to bill Elwood taxpayers for hotel room videos, chewing gum and breath mints. Despite the investigation findings, Arnold says he did not violate any campaign spending laws.
"I can say that I file all our requests appropriately with full disclosure and full transparency. We'll be happy to answer any questions that anyone might have," Arnold said.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings spoke to RTV6 reporter Jack Rinehart about the investigation.
"There's an allegation about gasoline use in the campaign account for personal vehicles. Allegations by his treasurer to pay for personal trips for his children's sporting events and his cable bills for his personal residence," Cummings said.
The investigation began six months ago after Elwood police locked up three of Arnold's sons on arson charges and battery on a child . Those investigations prompted the county prosecutor to write Arnold claiming his direct oversight of the police department created an appearance of impropriety and eroded public confidence. The prosecutor threatened Arnold with obstruction and misconduct charges if Elwood police got involved in another investigation of his family.
Despite the investigation, Arnold said his conscience is clean.
"I'm very comfortable with what we've disclosed on our official requests and our official inquiries. Again, we've been fully transparent on what we've collected and how we disburse it," Arnold said.
Meanwhile, Arnold's finance reports and personal bank statements have been subpoenaed.
Indiana Law prohibits elected officials from spending campaign money for personal expenses.