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ELIZABETHTOWN — Three members of the Elizabethtown Town Council are juggling clerk-treasurer duties as they continue searching for a full-time candidate to fill a job that’s been open for three weeks.
Bartholomew County Democratic Party Chairwoman Priscilla Scalf said she thinks the employment search will pick up momentum soon.
“We have some names and some interested people,” said Scalf, whose party has the authority to appoint someone to the clerk-treasurer’s position under state law.
One hang-up might be where job candidates live, however. State law requires the clerk-treasurer to live within the town limits.
“Several people from outside the town limits have inquired about the job, but no one from within Elizabethtown has said they’re interested to my knowledge,” said Fred Barnett, one of three town council members filling in by making bank deposits and handling other basic financial chores.
The clerk-treasurer’s job has been open since early January after former clerk-treasurer Gail Greathouse resigned 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 also worked.
Greathouse, 57, faces six counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false income tax report in federal court. She will go back to court within 90 days to present her plea to a federal judge and face sentencing, assuming the judge accepts her plea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has said.
Scalf said she’s waiting to get Greathouse’s official resignation letter, which was presented to the town council in early January. Once she receives the formal letter, a 30-day clock to fill the job will start ticking.
Greathouse held the local clerk-treasurer’s job for more than 19 years. She was appointed Nov. 1, 1993, by then-Bartholomew County Democratic Party Chairman Robert Harden, according to records in the Voter Registration Office at the Bartholomew County Courthouse.
Because of that history, the county Democratic Party is allowed to appoint someone to the job now.
Greathouse’s departure has caused headaches for town officials faced with running the local government, keeping track of town finances and collecting sewer fees.
For the time being, Barnett; Eric Peery, president of the town council; and fellow council member Jim Brown are processing bills and making the necessary bank deposits, Barnett said.
“We’re consulting with the state of Indiana Board of Accounts to see what our options are, if no one from within the town limits wants the job,” Barnett said.
“I feel certain everything is going to work out, but it’s just a timing issue,” he said.
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