MONROE COUNTY, Ind. - A former Benton Township trustee’s daughter has been charged with five felony theft counts after investigators say she stole checks from the township’s checkbook and wrote them out to herself.
According to documents provided by Special Prosecutor Barry Brown, Brittany Cohee served as the Township Assistance Clerk under her mother, Heather Cohee, who served as Benton Township trustee.
Brittany Cohee, who was arrested Thursday, is accused of misappropriating as much as $2,600 in township money, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.
Heather Cohee owes the taxpayers $131,000 after the State Board of Accounts found undocumented payments including credit card purchases for a gym membership, gas and food.
Heather Cohee resigned in March 2012 amid criticism she hired her daughter and husband to perform tens of thousands of dollars of work for the township without proper documentation.
The former trustee is facing theft and fraud charges and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Thursday.
As for Brittany Cohee, Monroe county Sheriff’s Office Detective Jennifer Allen conducted an investigation in cooperation with the special prosecutor .
“There is no evidence that these checks were designated for Township expenses or other related business,” read the probable cause affidavit.
Investigators obtained a December 7, 2011 email in which Heather Cohee refers to the checks.
“I will have to pay them back,” read Heather Cohee's email. “We will have to change the locks.”
Heather Cohee released a response to the state, disputing some of the allegations against her.
"The gym membership was for every Benton Township employee and family member that wanted it,” read the statement. “You will find that the board passed it in the monthly meeting. The deal with the gym that anyone who wanted to use it would come in and add to my membership"
The Call 6 Investigators were unable to reach Brittany Cohee for a response Thursday.