YORKTOWN, Ind.—The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the Yorktown clerk-treasurer should lose her job, saying she neglected the town’s financial records “for forty-eight consecutive months.”
Prosecutors filed a complaint against clerk treasurer Beth Neff in July 2017 for neglecting to perform several of her official statutory duties.
Delaware County Judge Marianne Vorhees ruled in Neff’s favor saying the clerk “is making mistakes," but those mistakes are not enough to remove her from office.
In its ruling handed down Friday, the appeals court said Judge Vorhees had it wrong in allowing Neff to keep her job.
“The removal statute does not require a town’s clerk-treasurer to refuse or neglect to perform each and every duty before removal from office is warranted,” read the opinion.
When contacted by Call 6 Investigates, Neff referred questions to her attorney Jeff Heinzmann.
“Two days after Hoosier voters went to the polls in the 2018 primary election, it is fresh in our minds that it is the voters who choose our elected officials and can choose to remove them,” said Heinzmann in a statement to Call 6 Investigates. “Today’s opinion is an abandonment of Indiana precedent that transforms the standard for impeachment from a bright line of nonfeasance to a sliding scale where courts can overturn the will of the voters based upon the mistakes of office holders. We will be filing a Petition to Transfer this case to the Indiana Supreme Court to appeal the decision.”
As Call 6 Investigates reported, a Delaware County judge ruled August 1 Yorktown Clerk-Treasurer Beth Neff can stay in her elected position, despite prosecutor efforts to oust her from the job.
The state’s lawsuit alleged Neff has refused, on numerous occasions, to perform her duties as clerk-treasurer including balancing the town’s financial books.
Prosecutors argued Neff also failed to follow the direction of the Indiana State Board of Accounts and, despite being cited in audits, continued to post errors to town financial accounts and records.
Monthly water and sewer bond interest transfers have not been recorded in a timely manner, which amounted to $127,472.35 in errors to date that have not been corrected on the town’s records, according to the lawsuit.
The Town of Yorktown has had to hire an independent firm to pay almost $70,000 to do the work Neff was elected to do, prosecutors said.
Neff has been in office since 2007, records show.
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