Peggy L. Brown, 47, was sworn in Monday as Elizabethtown clerk-treasurer.
The job has been vacant since January after the former clerk-treasurer pleaded guilty in connection with the theft of $2.1 million from her private employer.
Brown was appointed by the Bartholomew County Democratic Party, a procedure that’s allowed under state law when no election is scheduled or no one runs for the office. The next election is scheduled in 2014.
Brown has lived in Elizabethtown for five years. She works as a delivery coordinator at Menards in Columbus and previously worked in the Scott County treasurer’s office for seven years.
The Brown file
WHO: Peggy L. Brown
WHAT: New Elizabethtown clerk-treasurer
JOB: Delivery coordinator at Menards in Columbus
EXPERIENCE: Worked in Scott County treasurer’s office seven years; served one term on Scott County School Board.
CHILDREN: Two sons, one daughter
Brown also served one term on the Scott County School Board.
“I’ve always had an interest in politics, and this seems like a great way to get back into that realm,” Brown said after taking the oath of office in Bartholomew County Clerk Tami Hines’ office shortly after noon.
Fred Barnett, a member of the Elizabethtown Town Council, said he has chatted with Brown over the phone and he’s impressed with her résumé.
“She has some experience that will definitely benefit the town,” Barnett said.
Brown, the mother of three children, was scheduled to be introduced at an Elizabethtown Town Council meeting Monday night.
Brown has one son who is a high school senior who plans to attend Purdue University in the fall; a daughter studying mechanical engineering at the University of Evansville; and a 5-year-old son.
She said her family always has been involved in politics, and a sister worked for former Indiana Gov. and U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh and in the office of former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton.
The appointment of Brown beat a 30-day deadline for the Democratic Party Caucus to fill the job by a mere five hours, said Hines and Priscilla Scalf, head of the Bartholomew County Democratic Party.
Under state law, the Democratic caucus had until 5 p.m. Monday to find a willing job candidate or the task would have shifted to the Elizabethtown Town Council.
The former clerk-treasurer, Gail Greathouse, resigned at the end of January and entered a guilty plea to federal charges related to the theft of $2.1 million from an industrial molding company in Edinburgh where she had worked. Greathouse had been clerk-treasurer in Elizabethtown for more than 19 years.
Scalf said it was difficult to find someone willing and able to do the clerk-treasurer’s chores in a town with no more than 400 residents.
“I was just about ready to start going door to door,” Scalf said on Monday.
Barnett said the job pays $1,800 a year, “although we may have to adjust that after we get into it a bit more.”
Last week, the Town Council had tabbed 24-year-old Ashley Austerman to be clerk-treasurer on an interim basis, but now the young woman won’t actually have to fill that role.
“Of course she’s disappointed, but she also understands that we were only going to hire her on an interim basis,” Barnett said.
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